(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Old and New London Volume I"

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Old and New London, by Walter Thornbury

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net


Title: Old and New London
       Volume I

Author: Walter Thornbury

Release Date: February 26, 2010 [EBook #31412]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK OLD AND NEW LONDON ***




Produced by Eric Hutton, Jane Hyland and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net







OLD AND NEW LONDON.




[Illustration: CASSELL'S OLD & NEW LONDON, PLATE 10.

THE THAMES EMBANKMENT.]

[Illustration: CASSELL'S OLD & NEW LONDON, PLATE 9.

THE ROYAL EXCHANGE & BANK OF ENGLAND.]

[Illustration: CASSELL'S OLD & NEW LONDON. PLATE 8.

ALDERMAN BOYDELL. From the Portrait in the Guildhall Collection.]

[Illustration: CASSELL'S OLD & NEW LONDON PLATE 7.

THE MIDLAND RAILWAY STATION,--ST. PANCRAS.]

[Illustration: CASSELL'S OLD & NEW LONDON. PLATE 6.

Maclure & Macdonald del et lith.

A CITY APPRENTICE,--16TH CENTURY.]

[Illustration: CASSELL'S OLD & NEW LONDON. PLATE 5.

A BANQUET AT THE GUILDHALL.]

[Illustration: CASSELL'S OLD & NEW LONDON. PLATE 4.

THE HOLBORN VIADUCT.]

[Illustration: CASSELL'S OLD & NEW LONDON. PLATE 3.

LONDON WATCHMAN (CHARLIE) 18TH CENTURY]

[Illustration: CASSELL'S OLD & NEW LONDON. PLATE 2.

ST. PAUL'S FROM LUDGATE CIRCUS.]

[Illustration: A WATERMAN IN DOGGETT'S COAT AND BADGE.]




OLD AND NEW

LONDON.

_A NARRATIVE OF_

ITS HISTORY, ITS PEOPLE, AND ITS PLACES.

Illustrated with Numerous Engravings

FROM THE MOST AUTHENTIC SOURCES.


VOL. I.

CASSELL, PETTER & GALPIN:

_LONDON, PARIS & NEW YORK._


[Transcriber's Note: Although the Table of Contents is correct, the chapter
heading for Chapter XLIII is used twice and Chapter XLVII missing with
chapter headings offset by one in between.  These have been corrected in
this text document.]


CONTENTS.

                                                                       PAGE

INTRODUCTION                                                              1

CHAPTER I.

ROMAN LONDON.

Buried London--Our Early Relations--The Founder of London--A
Distinguished Visitor at Romney Marsh--Cæsar re-visits the "Town on the
Lake"--The Borders of Old London--Cæsar fails to make much out of the
Britons--King _Brown_--The Derivation of the Name of London--The Queen
of the Iceni--London Stone and London Roads--London's Earlier and Newer
Walls--The Site of St. Paul's--Fabulous Claims to Idolatrous
Renown--Existing Relics of Roman London--Treasures from the Bed of the
Thames--What we Tread underfoot in London--A vast Field of Story        16

CHAPTER II.

TEMPLE BAR.

Temple Bar--The Golgotha of English Traitors--When Temple Bar was made
of Wood--Historical Pageants at Temple Bar--The Associations of Temple
Bar--Mischievous Processions through Temple Bar--The First Grim
Trophy--Rye-House Plot Conspirators                                     22

CHAPTER III.

FLEET STREET:--GENERAL INTRODUCTION.

Frays in Fleet Street--Chaucer and the Friar--The Duchess of Gloucester
doing Penance for Witchcraft--Riots between Law Students and
Citizens--'Prentice Riots--Oates in the Pillory--Entertainments in Fleet
Street--Shop Signs--Burning the Boot--Trial of Hardy--Queen Caroline's
Funeral                                                                 32

CHAPTER IV.

FLEET STREET (_continued_).

Dr. Johnson in Ambuscade at Temple Bar--The First Child--Dryden and
Black Will--Rupert's Jewels--Telson's Bank--The Apollo Club at the
"Devil"--"Old Sir Simon the King"--"Mull Sack"--Dr. Johnson's Supper to
Mrs. Lennox--Will Waterproof at the "Cock"--The Duel at "Dick's Coffee
House"--Lintot's Shop--Pope and Warburton--Lamb and the _Albion_--The
Palace of Cardinal Wolsey--Mrs. Salmon's Waxwork--Isaak Walton--Praed's
Bank--Murray and Byron--St. Dunstan's--Fleet Street Printers--Hoare's
Bank and the "Golden Bottle"--The Real and Spurious "Mitre"--Hone's
Trial--Cobbett's Shop--"Peele's Coffee House"                           35

CHAPTER V.

FLEET STREET (_continued_).

The "Green Dragon"--Tompion and Pinchbeck--The _Record_--St. Bride's and
its Memories--_Punch_ and his Contributors--The _Dispatch_--The _Daily
Telegraph_--The "Globe Tavern" and Goldsmith--The _Morning
Advertiser_--The _Standard_--The _London Magazine_--A Strange
Story--Alderman Waithman--Brutus Billy--Hardham and his "37"            53

CHAPTER VI.

FLEET STREET (NORTHERN TRIBUTARIES--SHIRE LANE AND BELL YARD).

The Kit-Kat Club--The Toast for the Year--Little Lady Mary--Drunken John
Sly--Garth's Patients--Club Removed to Barn Elms--Steele at the
"Trumpet"--Rogues' Lane--Murder--Beggars' Haunts--Thieves'
Dens--Coiners--Theodore Hook in Hemp's Sponging-house--Pope in Bell
Yard--Minor Celebrities--Apollo Court                                   70

CHAPTER VII.

FLEET STREET (NORTHERN TRIBUTARIES--CHANCERY LANE).

The Asylum for Jewish Converts--The Rolls Chapel--Ancient Monuments--A
Speaker Expelled for Bribery--"Remember Cæsar"--Trampling on a Master of
the Rolls--Sir William Grant's Oddities--Sir John Leach--Funeral of Lord
Gifford--Mrs. Clark and the Duke of York--Wolsey in his
Pomp--Strafford--"Honest Isaak"--The Lord Keeper--Lady Fanshawe--Jack
Randal--Serjeants' Inn--An Evening with Hazlitt at the
"Southampton"--Charles Lamb--Sheridan--The Sponging Houses--The Law
Institute--A Tragical Story                                             76

CHAPTER VIII.

FLEET STREET (NORTHERN TRIBUTARIES--_continued_).

Clifford's Inn--Dyer's Chambers--The Settlement after the Great
Fire--Peter Wilkins and his Flying Wives--Fetter Lane--Waller's Plot and
its Victims--Praise-God Barebone and his Doings--Charles Lamb at
School--Hobbes the Philosopher--A Strange Marriage--Mrs.
Brownrigge--Paul Whitehead--The Moravians--The Record Office and its
Treasures--Rival Poets                                                  92

CHAPTER IX.

FLEET STREET TRIBUTARIES--CRANE COURT, JOHNSON'S COURT, BOLT COURT.

Removal of the Royal Society from Gresham College--Opposition to
Newton--Objections to Removal--The First Catalogue--Swift's Jeer at the
Society--Franklin's Lightning Conductor and King George III.--Sir Hans
Sloane insulted--The Scottish Society--Wilkes's Printer--The Delphin
Classics--Johnson's Court--Johnson's Opinion on Pope and Dryden--His
Removal to Bolt Court--The _John Bull_--Hook and Terry--Prosecutions for
Libel--Hook's Impudence                                                104

CHAPTER X.

FLEET STREET TRIBUTARIES.

Dr. Johnson in Bolt Court--His Motley Household--His Life there--Still
existing--The Gallant "Lumber Troop"--Reform Bill Riots--Sir Claudius
Hunter--Cobbett in Bolt Court--The Bird Boy--The Private Soldier--In the
House--Dr. Johnson in Gough Square--Busy at the Dictionary--Goldsmith in
Wine Office Court--Selling "The Vicar of Wakefield"--Goldsmith's
Troubles--Wine Office Court--The Old "Cheshire Cheese"                 112

CHAPTER XI.

FLEET STREET TRIBUTARIES--SHOE LANE.

The First Lucifers--Perkins' Steam Gun--A Link between Shakespeare and
Shoe Lane--Florio and his Labours--"Cogers' Hall"--Famous "Cogers"--A
Saturday Night's Debate--Gunpowder Alley--Richard Lovelace, the Cavalier
Poet--"To Althea, from Prison"--Lilly the Astrologer and his
Knaveries--A Search for Treasure with Davy Ramsay--Hogarth in Harp
Alley--The "Society of Sign Painters"--Hudson, the Song Writer--"Jack
Robinson"--The Bishop's Residence--Bangor House--A Strange Story of
Unstamped Newspapers--Chatterton's Death--Curious Legend of his
Burial--A well-timed Joke                                              123

CHAPTER XII.

FLEET STREET TRIBUTARIES--SOUTH.

Worthy Mr. Fisher--Lamb's Wednesday Evenings--Persons one would wish to
have seen--Ram Alley--Serjeants' Inn--The _Daily News_--"Memory"
Woodfall--A Mug-House Riot--Richardson's Printing Office--Fielding and
Richardson--Johnson's Estimate of Richardson--Hogarth and Richardson's
Guest--An Egotist Rebuked--The King's "Housewife"--Caleb Colton: his
Life, Works, and Sentiments                                            135

CHAPTER XIII.

THE TEMPLE.--GENERAL INTRODUCTION.

Origin of the Order of Templars--First Home of the Order--Removal to the
Banks of the Thames--Rules of the Order--The Templars at the Crusades,
and their Deeds of Valour--Decay and Corruption of the Order--Charges
brought against the Knights--Abolition of the Order                    147

CHAPTER XIV.

THE TEMPLE CHURCH AND PRECINCT.

The Temple Church--Its Restorations--Discoveries of Antiquities--The
Penitential Cell--Discipline in the Temple--The Tombs of the Templars in
the "Round"--William and Gilbert Marshall--Stone Coffins in the
Churchyard--Masters of the Temple--The "Judicious" Hooker--Edmund
Gibbon, the Historian--The Organ in the Temple Church--The Rival
Builders--"Straw Bail"--History of the Precinct--Chaucer and the
Friar--His Mention of the Temple--The Serjeants--Erection of New
Buildings--The "Roses"--Sumptuary Edicts--The Flying Horse             149

CHAPTER XV.

THE TEMPLE (_continued_).

The Middle Temple Hall: its Roof, Busts, and Portraits--Manningham's
Diary--Fox Hunts in Hall--The Grand Revels--Spenser--Sir J. Davis--A
Present to a King--Masques and Royal Visitors at the Temple--Fires in
the Temple--The Last Great Revel in the Hall--Temple Anecdotes--The
Gordon Riots--John Scott and his Pretty Wife--Colman "Keeping
Terms"--Blackstone's "Farewell"--Burke--Sheridan--A Pair of
Epigrams--Hare Court--The Barber's Shop--Johnson and the Literary
Club--Charles Lamb--Goldsmith: his Life, Troubles, and
Extravagances--"Hack Work" for Booksellers--_The Deserted Village_--_She
Stoops to Conquer_--Goldsmith's Death and Burial                       158

CHAPTER XVI.

THE TEMPLE (_continued_).

Fountain Court and the Temple Fountain--Ruth Pinch--L.E.L.'s
Poem--Fig-tree Court--The Inner Temple Library--Paper Buildings--The
Temple Gate--Guildford North and Jeffreys--Cowper, the Poet: his
Melancholy and Attempted Suicide--A Tragedy in Tanfield Court--Lord
Mansfield--"Mr. Murray" and his Client--Lamb's Pictures of the
Temple--The Sun-dials--Porson and his Eccentricities--Rules of the
Temple--Coke and his Labours--Temple Riots--Scuffles with the
Alsatians--Temple Dinners--"Calling" to the Bar--The Temple Gardens--The
Chrysanthemums--Sir Matthew Hale's Tree--Revenues of the Temple--Temple
Celebrities                                                            171

CHAPTER XVII.

WHITEFRIARS.

The Present Whitefriars--The Carmelite Convent--Dr. Butts--The
Sanctuary--Lord Sanquhar murders the Fencing-Master--His Trial--Bacon
and Yelverton--His Execution--Sir Walter Scott's "Fortunes of
Nigel"--Shadwell's _Squire of Alsatia_--A Riot in
Whitefriars--Elizabethan Edicts against the Ruffians of
Alsatia--Bridewell--A Roman Fortification--A Saxon Palace--Wolsey's
Residence--Queen Katherine's Trial--Her Behaviour in Court--Persecution
of the first Congregationalists--Granaries and Coal Stores destroyed by
the Great Fire--The Flogging in Bridewell--Sermon on Madame
Creswell--Hogarth and the "Harlot's Progress"--Pennant's Account of
Bridewell--Bridewell in 1843--Its Latter Days--Pictures in the Court
Room--Bridewell Dock--The Gas Works--Theatres in Whitefriars--Pepys'
Visits to the Theatre--Dryden and the Dorset Gardens
Theatre--Davenant--Kynaston--Dorset House--The Poet-Earl               182

CHAPTER XVIII.

BLACKFRIARS.

Three Norman Fortresses on the Thames' Bank--The Black Parliament--The
Trial of Katherine of Arragon--Shakespeare a Blackfriars Manager--The
Blackfriars Puritans--The Jesuit Sermon at Hunsdon House--Fatal
Accident--Extraordinary Escapes--Queen Elizabeth at Lord Herbert's
Marriage--Old Blackfriars Bridge--Johnson and Mylne--Laying of the
Stone--The Inscription--A Toll Riot--Failure of the Bridge--The New
Bridge--Bridge Street--Sir Richard Phillips and his Works--Painters in
Blackfriars--The King's Printing Office--Printing House Square--The
_Times_ and its History--Walter's Enterprise--War with the
_Dispatch_--The gigantic Swindling Scheme exposed by the
_Times_--Apothecaries' Hall--Quarrel with the College of Physicians    200

CHAPTER XIX.

LUDGATE HILL.

An Ugly Bridge and "Ye Belle Savage"--A Radical Publisher--The Principal
Gate of London--From a Fortress to a Prison--"Remember the Poor
Prisoners"--Relics of Early Times--St. Martin's, Ludgate--The London
Coffee House--Celebrated Goldsmiths on Ludgate Hill--Mrs. Rundell's
Cookery Book--Stationers' Hall--Old Burgavenny House and its
History--Early Days of the Stationers' Company--The Almanacks--An
Awkward Misprint--The Hall and its Decorations--The St. Cecilia
Festivals--Dryden's "St. Cecilia's Day" and "Alexander's
Feast"--Handel's Setting of them--A Modest Poet--Funeral Feasts and
Political Banquets--The Company's Plate--Their Charities--The Pictures
at Stationers' Hall--The Company's Arms--Famous Masters                220

CHAPTER XX.

ST. PAUL'S.

London's Chief Sanctuary of Religion--The Site of St. Paul's--The
Earliest authenticated Church there--The Shrine of Erkenwald--St. Paul's
Burnt and Rebuilt--It becomes the Scene of a Strange Incident--Important
Political Meeting within its Walls--The Great Charter published
there--St. Paul's and Papal Power in England--Turmoils around the Grand
Cathedral--Relics and Chantry Chapels in St. Paul's--Royal Visits to St.
Paul's--Richard, Duke of York, and Henry VI.--A Fruitless
Reconciliation--Jane Shore's Penance--A Tragedy of the Lollards'
Tower--A Royal Marriage--Henry VIII. and Cardinal Wolsey at St.
Paul's--"Peter of Westminster"--A Bonfire of Bibles--The Cathedral
Clergy Fined--A Miraculous Rood--St. Paul's under Edward VI. and Bishop
Ridley--A Protestant Tumult at Paul's Cross--Strange Ceremonials--Queen
Elizabeth's Munificence--The Burning of the Spire--Desecration of the
Nave--Elizabeth and Dean Nowell--Thanksgiving for the Armada--The
"Children of Paul's"--Government Lotteries--Executions in the
Churchyard--Inigo Jones's Restorations and the Puritan Parliament--The
Great Fire of 1666--Burning of Old St. Paul's, and Destruction of its
Monuments--Evelyn's Description of the Fire--Sir Christopher Wren called
in                                                                     234

CHAPTER XXI.

ST. PAUL'S (_continued_).

The Rebuilding of St. Paul's--Ill Treatment of its Architect--Cost of
the Present Fabric--Royal Visitors--The First Grave in St.
Paul's--Monuments in St. Paul's--Nelson's Funeral--Military Heroes in
St. Paul's--The Duke of Wellington's Funeral--Other Great Men in St.
Paul's--Proposal for the Completion and Decoration of the
Building--Dimensions of St. Paul's--Plan of Construction--The Dome,
Ball, and Cross--Mr. Horner and his Observatory--Two Narrow Escapes--Sir
James Thornhill--Peregrine Falcons on St. Paul's--Nooks and Corners of
the Cathedral--The Library, Model Room, and Clock--The Great Bell--A
Lucky Error--Curious Story of a Monomaniac--The Poets and the
Cathedral--The Festivals of the Charity Schools and of the Sons of the
Clergy                                                                 249

CHAPTER XXII.

ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD.

St Paul's Churchyard and Literature--Queen Anne's Statue--Execution of a
Jesuit in St. Paul's Churchyard--Miracle of the "Face in the
Straw"--Wilkinson's Story--Newbery the Bookseller--Paul's
Chain--"Cocker"--Chapter House of St. Paul's--St. Paul's Coffee
House--Child's Coffee House and the Clergy--Garrick's Club at the
"Queen's Arms," and the Company there--"Sir Benjamin" Figgins--Johnson the
Bookseller--Hunter and his Guests--Fuseli--Bonnycastle--Kinnaird--Musical
Associations of the Churchyard--Jeremiah Clark and his Works--Handel at
Meares' Shop--Young the Violin Maker--The "Castle" Concerts--An Old
Advertisement--Wren at the "Goose and Gridiron"--St. Paul's School--Famous
Paulines--Pepys visiting his Old School--Milton at St. Paul's          262

CHAPTER XXIII.

PATERNOSTER ROW.

Its Successions of Traders--The House of Longman--Goldsmith at
Fault--Tarleton, Actor, Host, and Wit--Ordinaries around St. Paul's:
their Rules and Customs--The "Castle"--"Dolly's"--The "Chapter" and its
Frequenters--Chatterton and Goldsmith--Dr. Buchan and his
Prescriptions--Dr. Gower--Dr. Fordyce--The "Wittinagemot" at the
"Chapter"--The "Printing Conger"--Mrs. Turner, the Poisoner--The Church
of St. Michael "ad Bladum"--The Boy in Panier Alley                    274

CHAPTER XXIV.

BAYNARD'S CASTLE AND DOCTORS' COMMONS.

Baron Fitzwalter and King John--The Duties of the Chief Bannerer of
London--An Old-fashioned Punishment for Treason--Shakesperian Allusions
to Baynard's "Castle"--Doctors' Commons and its Five Courts--The Court
of Probate Act, 1857--The Court of Arches--The Will Office--Business of
the Court--Prerogative Court--Faculty Office--Lord Stowell, the
Admiralty Judge--Stories of him--His Marriage--Sir Herbert Jenner
Fust--The Court "Rising"--Doctor Lushington--Marriage Licences--Old
Weller and the "Touters"--Doctors' Commons at the Present Day          281

CHAPTER XXV.

HERALDS' COLLEGE.

Early Homes of the Heralds--The Constitution of the Heralds'
College--Garter King at Arms--Clarencieux and Norroy--The
Pursuivants--Duties and Privileges of Heralds--Good, Bad, and Jovial
Heralds--A Notable Norroy King at Arms--The Tragic End of Two Famous
Heralds--The College of Arms' Library                                  294

CHAPTER XXVI.

CHEAPSIDE--INTRODUCTORY AND HISTORICAL.

Ancient Reminiscences of Cheapside--Stormy Days therein--The Westchepe
Market--Something about the Pillory--The Cheapside Conduits--The
Goldsmiths' Monopoly--Cheapside Market--Gossip anent Cheapside by Mr.
Pepys--A Saxon Rienzi--Anti-Free-Trade Riots in Cheapside--Arrest of the
Rioters--A Royal Pardon--Jane Shore                                    304

CHAPTER XXVII.

CHEAPSIDE SHOWS AND PAGEANTS.

A Tournament in Cheapside--The Queen in Danger--The Street in Holiday
Attire--The Earliest Civic Show on Record--The Water Processions--A Lord
Mayor's Show in Queen Elizabeth's Reign--Gossip about Lord Mayors'
Shows--Splendid Pageants--Royal Visitors at Lord Mayors' Shows--A Grand
Banquet in Guildhall--George III. and the Lord Mayor's Show--The Lord
Mayor's State Coach--The Men in Armour--Sir Claudius Hunter and
Elliston--Stow and the Midsummer Watch                                 315

CHAPTER XXVIII.

CHEAPSIDE--CENTRAL.

Grim Chronicles of Cheapside--Cheapside Cross--Puritanical
Intolerance--The Old London Conduits--Mediæval Water-carriers--The
Church of St. Mary-le-Bow--"Murder will out"--The "Sound of Bow
Bells"--Sir Christopher Wren's Bow Church--Remains of the Old
Church--The Seldam--Interesting Houses in Cheapside and their
Memories--Goldsmiths' Row--The "Nag's Head" and the Self-consecrated
Bishops--Keats' House--Saddlers' Hall--A Prince Disguised--Blackmore,
the Poet--Alderman Boydell, the Printseller--His Edition of
Shakespeare--"Puck"--The Lottery--Death and Burial                     332

CHAPTER XXIX.

CHEAPSIDE TRIBUTARIES--SOUTH.

The King's Exchange--Friday Street and the Poet Chaucer--The Wednesday
Club in Friday Street--William Paterson, Founder of The Bank of
England--How Easy it is to Redeem the National Debt--St. Matthew's and
St. Margaret Moses--Bread Street and the Bakers' Shops--St. Austin's,
Watling Street--Fraternity of St. Austin's--St. Mildred's, Bread
Street--The Mitre Tavern--A Priestly Duel--Milton's Birthplace--The
"Mermaid"--Sir Walter Raleigh and the Mermaid Club--Thomas Coryatt, the
Traveller--Bow Lane--Queen Street--Soper's Lane--A Mercer Knight--St.
Bennet Sherehog--Epitaphs in the Church of St. Thomas Apostle--A
Charitable Merchant                                                    346

CHAPTER XXX.

CHEAPSIDE TRIBUTARIES--NORTH.

Goldsmiths' Hall--Its Early Days--Tailors and Goldsmiths at
Loggerheads--The Goldsmiths' Company's Charters and Records--Their Great
Annual Feast--They receive Queen Margaret of Anjou in State--A Curious
Trial of Skill--Civic and State Duties--The Goldsmiths break up the
Image of their Patron Saint--The Goldsmiths' Company's Assays--The
Ancient Goldsmiths' Feasts--The Goldsmiths at Work--Goldsmiths' Hall at
the Present Day--The Portraits--St. Leonard's Church--St.
Vedast--Discovery of a Stone Coffin--Coachmakers' Hall                 353

CHAPTER XXXI.

CHEAPSIDE TRIBUTARIES, NORTH:--WOOD STREET.

Wood Street--Pleasant Memories--St. Peter's in Chepe--St. Michael's and
St. Mary Staining--St. Alban's, Wood Street--Some Quaint Epitaphs--Wood
Street Compter and the Hapless Prisoners therein--Wood Street Painful,
Wood Street Cheerful--Thomas Ripley--The Anabaptist Rising--A Remarkable
Wine Cooper--St. John Zachary and St. Anne-in-the-Willows--Haberdashers'
Hall--Something about the Mercers                                      364

CHAPTER XXXII.

CHEAPSIDE TRIBUTARIES, NORTH (_continued_).

Milk Street--Sir Thomas More--The City of London School--St. Mary
Magdalen--Honey Lane--All Hallows' Church--Lawrence Lane and St.
Lawrence Church--Ironmonger Lane and Mercers' Hall--The Mercers'
Company--Early Life Assurance Companies--The Mercers' Company in
Trouble--Mercers' Chapel--St. Thomas Acon--The Mercers'
School--Restoration of the Carvings in Mercers' Hall--The Glories of
the Mercers' Company--Ironmonger Lane                                  374

CHAPTER XXXIII.

GUILDHALL.

The Original Guildhall--A fearful Civic Spectacle--The Value of Land
increased by the Great Fire--Guildhall as it was and is--The Statues
over the South Porch--Dance's Disfigurements--The Renovation in
1864--The Crypt--Gog and Magog--Shopkeepers in Guildhall--The Cenotaphs
in Guildhall--The Court of Aldermen--The City Courts--The Chamberlain's
Office--Pictures in the Guildhall--Sir Robert Porter--The Common Council
Room--Pictures and Statues--Guildhall Chapel--The New Library and
Museum--Some Rare Books--Historical Events in Guildhall--Chaucer in
Trouble--Buckingham at Guildhall--Anne Askew's Trial and
Death--Surrey--Throckmorton--Garnet--A Grand Banquet                   383

CHAPTER XXXIV.

THE LORD MAYORS OF LONDON.

The First Mayor of London--Portrait of him--Presentation to the King--An
Outspoken Mayor--Sir N. Farindon--Sir William Walworth--Origin of the
prefix "Lord"--Sir Richard Whittington and his Liberality--Institutions
founded by him--Sir Simon Eyre and his Table--A Musical Lord
Mayor--Henry VIII. and Gresham--Loyalty of the Lord Mayor and Citizens
to Queen Mary--Osborne's Leap into the Thames--Sir W. Craven--Brass
Crosby--His Committal to the Tower--A Victory for the Citizens         396

CHAPTER XXXV.

THE LORD MAYORS OF LONDON (_continued_).

John Wilkes: his Birth and Parentage--The _North Briton_--Duel with
Martin--His Expulsion--Personal Appearance--Anecdotes of Wilkes--A
Reason for making a Speech--Wilkes and the King--The Lord Mayor at the
Gordon Riots--"Soap-suds" _versus_ "Bar"--Sir William Curtis and his
Kilt--A Gambling Lord Mayor--Sir William Staines, Bricklayer and Lord
Mayor--"Patty-pan" Birch--Sir Matthew Wood--Waithman--Sir Peter Laurie
and the "Dregs of the People"--Recent Lord Mayors                      410

CHAPTER XXXVI.

THE POULTRY.

The Early Home of the London Poulterers--Its Mysterious
Desertion--Noteworthy Sites in the Poultry--The Birthplace of Tom Hood,
Senior--A Pretty Quarrel at the Rose Tavern--A Costly Sign-board--The
Three Cranes--The Home of the Dillys--Johnsoniana--St. Mildred's Church,
Poultry--Quaint Epitaphs--The Poultry Compter--Attack on Dr. Lamb, the
Conjurer--Dekker, the Dramatist--Ned Ward's Description of the
Compter--Granville Sharp and the Slave Trade--Important Decision in
favour of the Slave--Boyse--Dunton                                     416

CHAPTER XXXVII.

OLD JEWRY.

The Old Jewry--Early Settlements of Jews in London and Oxford--Bad Times
for the Israelites--Jews' Alms--A King in Debt--Rachel weeping for her
Children--Jewish Converts--Wholesale Expulsion of the Chosen People from
England--The Rich House of a Rich Citizen--The London Institution,
formerly in the Old Jewry--Porsoniana--Nonconformists in the Old
Jewry--Samuel Chandler, Richard Price, and James Foster--The Grocers
Company--Their Sufferings under the Commonwealth--Almost Bankrupt--Again
they Flourish--The Grocers' Hall Garden--Fairfax and the Grocers--A Rich
and Generous Grocer--A Warlike Grocer--Walbrook--Bucklersbury          425

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

THE MANSION HOUSE.

The Palace of the Lord Mayor--The Old Stocks' Market--A Notable Statue
of Charles II.--The Mansion House described--The Egyptian Hall--Works of
Art in the Mansion House--The Election of the Lord Mayor--Lord Mayor's
Day--The Duties of a Lord Mayor--Days of the Year on which the Lord
Mayor holds High State--The Patronage of the Lord Mayor--His Powers--The
Lieutenancy of the City of London--The Conservancy of the Thames and
Medway--The Lord Mayor's Advisers--The Mansion House Household and
Expenditure--Theodore Hook--Lord Mayor Scropps--The Lord Mayor's
Insignia--The State Barge--The Maria Wood                              435

CHAPTER XXXIX.

SAXON LONDON.

A Glance at Saxon London--The Three Component Parts of Saxon London--The
First Saxon Bridge over the Thames--Edward the Confessor at
Westminster--City Residences of the Saxon Kings--Political Position of
London in Early Times--The first recorded Great Fire of London--The
Early Commercial Dignity of London--The Kings of Norway and Denmark
besiege London in vain--A great _Gemot_ held in London--Edmund Ironside
elected King by the Londoners--Canute besieges them, and is driven
off--The Seamen of London--Its Citizens as Electors of Kings           447

CHAPTER XL.

THE BANK OF ENGLAND.

The Jews and the Lombards--The Goldsmiths the first London
Bankers--William Paterson, Founder of the Bank of England--Difficult
Parturition of the Bank Bill--Whig Principles of the Bank of
England--The Great Company described by Addison--A Crisis at the
Bank--Effects of a Silver Re-coinage--Paterson quits the Bank of
England--The Ministry resolves that it shall be enlarged--The Credit of
the Bank shaken--The Whigs to the Rescue--Effects of the Sacheverell
Riots--The South Sea Company--The Cost of a New Charter--Forged Bank
Notes--The Foundation of the "Three per Cent. Consols"--Anecdotes
relating to the Bank of England and Bank Notes--Description of the
Building--Statue of William III.--Bank Clearing House--Dividend Day at
the Bank                                                               453

CHAPTER XLI.

THE STOCK EXCHANGE.

The Kingdom of Change Alley--A William III. Reuter--Stock Exchange
Tricks--Bulls and Bears--Thomas Guy, the Hospital Founder--Sir John
Barnard, the "Great Commoner"--Sampson Gideon, the famous Jew
Broker--Alexander Fordyce--A cruel Quaker Criticism--Stockbrokers and
Longevity--The Stock Exchange in 1795--The Money Articles in the London
Papers--The Case of Benjamin Walsh, M.P.--The De Berenger
Conspiracy--Lord Cochrane unjustly accused--"Ticket Pocketing"--System
of Business at the Stock Exchange--"Popgun John"--Nathan
Rothschild--Secrecy of his Operations--Rothschild outdone by
Stratagem--Grotesque Sketch of Rothschild--Abraham
Goldsmid--Vicissitudes of the Stock Exchange--The Spanish Panic of
1835--The Railway Mania--Ricardo's Golden Rules--A Clerical Intruder in
Capel Court--Amusements of Stockbrokers--Laws of the Stock Exchange--The
Pigeon Express--The "Alley Man"--Purchase of Stock--Eminent Members of
the Stock Exchange                                                     473

CHAPTER XLII.

THE ROYAL EXCHANGE.

The Greshams--Important Negotiations--Building of the Old
Exchange--Queen Elizabeth visits it--Its Milliners' Shops--A Resort for
Idlers--Access of Nuisances--The various Walks in the
Exchange--Shakespeare's Visits to it--Precautions against Fire--Lady
Gresham and the Council--The "Eye of London"--Contemporary
Allusions--The Royal Exchange during the Plague and the Great
Fire--Wren's Design for a New Royal Exchange--The Plan which was
ultimately accepted--Addison and Steele upon the Exchange--The Shops of
the Second Exchange                                                    494

CHAPTER XLIII.

The Second Exchange on Fire--Chimes Extraordinary--Incidents of the
Fire--Sale of Salvage--Designs for the New Building--Details of the
Present Exchange--The Ambulatory, or Merchants' Walk--Royal Exchange
Assurance Company--"Lloyd's"--Origin of "Lloyd's"--Marine
Assurance--Benevolent Contributions of "Lloyd's"--A "Good" and "Bad"
Book                                                                   503

CHAPTER XLIV.

NEIGHBOURHOOD OF THE BANK:--LOTHBURY.

Lothbury--Its Former Inhabitants--St. Margaret's Church--Tokenhouse
Yard--Origin of the Name--Farthings and Tokens--Silver Halfpence and
Pennies--Queen Anne's Farthings--Sir William Petty--Defoe's Account of
the Plague in Tokenhouse Yard                                          513

CHAPTER XLV.

THROGMORTON STREET.--THE DRAPERS' COMPANY.

Halls of the Drapers' Company--Throgmorton Street and its many Fair
Houses--Drapers and Wool Merchants--The Drapers in Olden
Times--Milborne's Charity--Dress and Livery--Election Dinner of the
Drapers' Company--A Draper's Funeral--Ordinances and
Pensions--Fifty-three Draper Mayors--Pageants and Processions of the
Drapers--Charters--Details of the present Drapers' Hall--Arms of the
Drapers' Company                                                       515

CHAPTER XLVI.

BARTHOLOMEW LANE AND LOMBARD STREET.

George Robins--His Sale of the Lease of the Olympic--St. Bartholomew's
Church--The Lombards and Lombard Street--William de la
Pole--Gresham--The Post Office, Lombard Street--Alexander Pope's Father
in Plough Court--Lombard Street Tributaries--St. Mary Woolnoth--St.
Clement's--Dr. Benjamin Stone--Discovery of Roman Remains--St. Mary
Abchurch                                                               522

CHAPTER XLVII.

THREADNEEDLE STREET.

The Centre of Roman London--St. Benet Fink--The Monks of St.
Anthony--The Merchant Taylors--Stow, Antiquary and Tailor--A Magnificent
Roll--The Good Deeds of the Merchant Taylors--The Old and the Modern
Merchant Taylors' Hall--"Concordia parvæ res crescunt"--Henry VII.
enrolled as a Member of the Taylors' Company--A Cavalcade of
Archers--The Hall of Commerce in Threadneedle Street--A Painful
Reminiscence--The Baltic Coffee-house--St. Anthony's School--The North
and South American Coffee-house--The South Sea House--History of the
South Sea Bubble--Bubble Companies of the Period--Singular Infatuation
of the Public--Bursting of the Bubble--Parliamentary Inquiry into the
Company's Affairs--Punishment of the Chief Delinquents--Restoration of
Public Credit--The Poets during the Excitement--Charles Lamb's Reverie
                                                                       531
CHAPTER XLVIII.

CANNON STREET.

London Stone and Jack Cade--Southwark Bridge--Old City Churches--The
Salters' Company's Hall, and the Salters' Company's History--Oxford
House--Salters' Banquets--Salters' Hall Chapel--A Mysterious Murder in
Cannon Street--St. Martin Orgar--King William's Statue--Cannon Street
Station                                                                544

CHAPTER XLIX.

CANNON STREET TRIBUTARIES AND EASTCHEAP.

Budge Row--Cordwainers' Hall--St. Swithin's Church--Founders' Hall--The
Oldest Street in London--Tower Royal and the Wat Tyler Mob--The Queen's
Wardrobe--St. Antholin's Church--"St. Antlin's Bell"--The London Fire
Brigade--Captain Shaw's Statistics--St. Mary Aldermary--A Quaint
Epitaph--Crooked Lane--An Early "Gun Accident"--St. Michael's and Sir
William Walworth's Epitaph--Gerard's Hall and its History--The Early
Closing Movement--St. Mary Woolchurch--Roman Remains in Nicholas
Lane--St. Stephen's, Walbrook--Eastcheap and the Cooks' Shops--The
"Boar's Head"--Prince Hal and his Companions--A Giant
Plum-pudding--Goldsmith at the "Boar's Head"--The Weigh-house Chapel and
its Famous Preachers--Reynolds, Clayton, Binney                        550

CHAPTER L.

THE MONUMENT AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD.

The Monument--How shall it be fashioned?--Commemorative
Inscriptions--The Monument's Place in History--Suicides and the
Monument--The Great Fire of London--On the Top of the Monument by
Night--The Source of the Fire--A Terrible Description--Miles
Coverdale--St. Magnus, London Bridge                                   565

CHAPTER LI.

CHAUCER'S LONDON.

London Citizens in the Reigns of Edward III. and Richard II.--The
Knight--The Young Bachelor--The Yeoman--The Prioress--The Monk who goes
a Hunting--The Merchant--The Poor Clerk--The Franklin--The Shipman--The
Poor Parson                                                            575




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



                                                              PAGE
    Introduction of Randolph to Ben Jonson (Frontispiece)      40

    The Old Wooden Temple Bar                                   6

    Burning the Pope in Effigy at Temple Bar                    7

    Bridewell in 1666                                          12

    Part of Modern London, showing the Ancient Wall            13

    Plan of Roman London                                       15

    Ancient Roman Pavement                                     18

    Part of Old London Wall, near Falcon Square                19

    Proclamation of Charles II. at Temple Bar                  24

    Penance of the Duchess of Gloucester                       25

    The Room over Temple Bar                                   30

    Titus Oates in the Pillory                                 31

    Dr. Titus Oates                                            36

    Temple Bar and the "Devil Tavern"                          37

    Temple Bar in Dr. Johnson's Time                           42

    Mull Sack and Lady Fairfax                                 43

    Mrs. Salmon's Waxwork, Fleet Street                        48

    St. Dunstan's Clock                                        49

    An Evening with Dr. Johnson at the "Mitre"                 54

    Old Houses (still standing) in Fleet Street                55

    St. Bride's Church, Fleet Street, after the Fire, 1824     60

    Waithman's Shop                                            61

    Alderman Waithman, from an Authentic Portrait              66

    Group at Hardham's Tobacco Shop                            67

    Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Kit-Kats                 72

    Bishop Butler                                              73

    Wolsey in Chancery Lane                                    78

    Izaak Walton's House                                       79

    Old Serjeants' Inn                                         84

    Hazlitt                                                    85

    Clifford's Inn                                             90

    Execution of Tomkins and Challoner                         91

    Roasting the Rumps in Fleet Street (from an old Print)     96

    Interior of the Moravian Chapel in Fetter Lane             97

    House said to have been occupied by Dryden in Fetter Lane 102

    A Meeting of the Royal Society in Crane Court             103

    The Royal Society's House in Crane Court                  108

    Theodore E. Hook                                          109

    Dr. Johnson's House in Bolt Court                         114

    A Tea Party at Dr. Johnson's                              115

    Gough Square                                              120

    Wine Office Court and the "Cheshire Cheese"               121

    Cogers' Hall                                              126

    Lovelace in Prison                                        127

    Bangor House, 1818                                        132

    Old St. Dunstan's Church                                  133

    The Dorset Gardens Theatre, Whitefriars                   138

    Attack on a Whig Mug-house                                139

    Fleet Street, the Temple, &c., 1563                       144

    Fleet Street, the Temple, &c., 1720                       145

    A Knight Templar                                          150

    Interior of the Temple Church                             151

    Tombs of Knights Templars                                 156

    The Temple in 1671                                        157

    The Old Hall of the Inner Temple                          162

    Antiquities of the Temple                                 163

    Oliver Goldsmith                                          168

    Goldsmith's Tomb in 1860                                  169

    The Temple Fountain, from an Old Print                    174

    A Scuffle between Templars and Alsatians                  175

    Sun-dial in the Temple                                    180

    The Temple Stairs                                         181

    The Murder of Turner                                      186

    Bridewell, as Rebuilt after the Fire, from an Old Print   187

    Beating Hemp in Bridewell, after Hogarth                  192

    Interior of the Duke's Theatre                            193

    Baynard's Castle, from a View published in 1790           198

    Falling-in of the Chapel at Blackfriars                   199

    Richard Burbage, from an Original Portrait                204

    Laying the Foundation-stone of Blackfriars Bridge         205

    Printing House Square and the "Times" Office              210

    Blackfriars Old Bridge during its Construction, 1775      211

    The College of Physicians, Warwick Lane                   216

    Outer Court of La Belle Sauvage in 1828                   217

    The Inner Court of the Belle Sauvage                      222

    The Mutilated Statues from Lud Gate, 1798                 223

    Old Lud Gate, from a Print published about 1750           226

    Ruins of the Barbican on Ludgate Hill                     228

    Interior of Stationers' Hall                              229

    Old St. Paul's, from a View by Hollar                     234

    Old St. Paul's--the Interior, looking East                235

    The Church of St. Faith, the Crypt of Old St. Paul's      240

    St. Paul's after the Fall of the Spire                    241

    The Chapter House of Old St. Paul's                       246

    Dr. Bourne preaching at Paul's Cross                      247

    The Rebuilding of St. Paul's                              252

    The Choir of St. Paul's                                   253

    The Scaffolding and Observatory on St. Paul's in 1848     258

    St. Paul's and the Neighbourhood in 1540                  259

    The Library of St. Paul's                                 264

    The "Face in the Straw," 1613                             265

    Execution of Father Garnet                                270

    Old St. Paul's School                                     271

    Richard Tarleton, the Actor                               276

    Dolly's Coffee House                                      277

    The Figure in Panier Alley                                282

    The Church of St. Michael ad Bladum                       283

    The Prerogative Office, Doctors' Commons                  288

    St. Paul's and Neighbourhood, from Aggas' Plan, 1563      289

    Heralds' College (from an Old Print)                      294

    The Last Heraldic Court (from an Old Picture)             295

    Sword, Dagger, and Ring of King James of Scotland         300

    Linacre's House                                           301

    Ancient View of Cheapside                                 307

    Beginning of the Riot in Cheapside                        312

    Cheapside Cross, as it appeared in 1547                   313

    The Lord Mayor's Procession, from Hogarth                 318

    The Marriage Procession of Anne Boleyn                    319

    Figures of Gog and Magog set up in Guildhall              324

    The Royal Banquet in Guildhall in 1761                    325

    The Lord Mayor's Coach                                    330

    The Demolition of Cheapside Cross                         331

    Old Map of the Ward of Cheap--about 1750                  336

    The Seal of Bow Church                                    337

    Bow Church, Cheapside, from a View taken about 1750       342

    No. 73, Cheapside, from an Old View                       343

    The Door of Saddlers' Hall                                348

    Milton's House and Milton's Burial-place                  349

    Interior of Goldsmiths' Hall                              354

    Trial of the Pix                                          355

    Exterior of Goldsmiths' Hall                              360

    Altar of Diana                                            361

    Wood Street Compter, from a View published in 1793        366

    The Tree at the Corner of Wood Street                     367

    Pulpit Hour-glass                                         370

    Interior of St. Michael's, Wood Street                    372

    Interior of Haberdashers' Hall                            373

    The "Swan with Two Necks," Lad Lane                       378

    City of London School                                     379

    Mercers' Chapel, as Rebuilt after the Fire                384

    The Crypt of Guildhall                                    385

    The Court of Aldermen, Guildhall                          390

    Old Front of Guildhall                                    391

    The New Library, Guildhall                                396

    Sir Richard Whittington                                   397

    Whittington's Almshouses, College Hill                    402

    Osborne's Leap                                            403

    A Lord Mayor and his Lady                                 408

    Wilkes on his Trial                                       409

    Birch's Shop, Cornhill                                    414

    The Stocks' Market, Site of the Mansion House             415

    John Wilkes                                               420

    The Poultry Compter                                       421

    Richard Porson                                            426

    Sir R. Clayton's House, Garden Front                      427

    Exterior of Grocers' Hall                                 432

    Interior of Grocers' Hall                                 433

    The Mansion House Kitchen                                 438

    The Mansion House in 1750                                 439

    Interior of the Egyptian Hall                             444

    The "Maria Wood"                                          445

    Broad Street and Cornhill Wards                           450

    Lord Mayor's Water Procession                             451

    The Old Bank, looking from the Mansion House              456

    Old Patch                                                 457

    The Bank Parlour, Exterior View                           462

    Dividend Day at the Bank                                  463

    The Church of St. Benet Fink                              468

    Court of the Bank of England                              469

    "Jonathan's," from an Old Sketch                          472

    Capel Court                                               474

    The Clearing House                                        475

    The Present Stock Exchange                                481

    On Change (from an Old Print, about 1800)                 487

    Inner Court of the First Royal Exchange                   492

    Sir Thomas Gresham                                        493

    Wren's Plan for Rebuilding London                         496

    Plan of the Exchange in 1837                              497

    The First Royal Exchange                                  498

    The Second Royal Exchange, Cornhill                       499

    The Present Royal Exchange                                504

    Blackwell Hall in 1812                                    505

    Interior of Lloyd's                                       510

    The Subscription Room at "Lloyd's"                        511

    Interior of Drapers' Hall                                 516

    Drapers' Hall Garden                                      517

    Cromwell's House, from Aggas's Map                        520

    Pope's House, Plough Court, Lombard Street                523

    St. Mary Woolnoth                                         528

    Interior of Merchant Taylors' Hall                        529

    Ground Plan of the Church of St. Martin Outwich           534

    March of the Archers                                      535

    The Old South Sea House                                   540

    London Stone                                              541

    The Fourth Salters' Hall                                  546

    Cordwainers' Hall                                         547

    St. Antholin's Church, Watling Street                     552

    The Crypt of Gerard's Hall                                553

    Old Sign of the "Boar's Head"                             558

    Exterior of St. Stephen's, Walbrook, in 1700              559

    The Weigh-house Chapel                                    564

    Miles Coverdale                                           565

    Wren's Original Design for the Summit of the Monument     570

    The Monument and the Church of St. Magnus, 1800           571




[Illustration]

LONDON AS IT WAS AND AS IT IS.


Writing the history of a vast city like London is like writing a history
of the ocean--the area is so vast, its inhabitants are so multifarious,
the treasures that lie in its depths so countless. What aspect of the
great chameleon city should one select? for, as Boswell, with more than
his usual sense, once remarked, "London is to the politician merely a
seat of government, to the grazier a cattle market, to the merchant a
huge exchange, to the dramatic enthusiast a congeries of theatres, to
the man of pleasure an assemblage of taverns." If we follow one path
alone, we must neglect other roads equally important; let us, then,
consider the metropolis as a whole, for, as Johnson's friend well says,
"the intellectual man is struck with London as comprehending the whole
of human life in all its variety, the contemplation of which is
inexhaustible." In histories, in biographies, in scientific records, and
in chronicles of the past, however humble, let us gather materials for a
record of the great and the wise, the base and the noble, the odd and
the witty, who have inhabited London and left their names upon its
walls. Wherever the glimmer of the cross of St. Paul's can be seen we
shall wander from street to alley, from alley to street, noting almost
every event of interest that has taken place there since London was a
city.

Had it been our lot to write of London before the Great Fire, we should
have only had to visit 65,000 houses. If in Dr. Johnson's time, we might
have done like energetic Dr. Birch, and have perambulated the
twenty-mile circuit of London in six hours' hard walking; but who now
could put a girdle round the metropolis in less than double that time?
The houses now grow by streets at a time, and the nearly four million
inhabitants would take a lifetime to study. Addison probably knew
something of London when he called it "an aggregate of various nations,
distinguished from each other by their respective customs, manners, and
interests--the St. James's courtiers from the Cheapside citizens, the
Temple lawyers from the Smithfield drovers;" but what would the
_Spectator_ say now to the 168,701 domestic servants, the 23,517
tailors, the 18,321 carpenters, the 29,780 dressmakers, the 7,002
seamen, the 4,861 publicans, the 6,716 blacksmiths, &c., to which the
population returns of thirty years ago depose, whom he would have to
observe and visit before he could say he knew all the ways, oddities,
humours--the joys and sorrows, in fact--of this great centre of
civilisation?

The houses of old London are incrusted as thick with anecdotes, legends,
and traditions as an old ship is with barnacles. Strange stories about
strange men grow like moss in every crevice of the bricks. Let us, then,
roll together like a great snowball the mass of information that time
and our predecessors have accumulated, and reduce it to some shape and
form. Old London is passing away even as we dip our pen in the ink, and
we would fain erect quickly our itinerant photographic machine, and
secure some views of it before it passes. Roman London, Saxon London,
Norman London, Elizabethan London, Stuart London, Queen Anne's London,
we shall in turn rifle to fill our museum, on whose shelves the Roman
lamp and the vessel full of tears will stand side by side with Vanessas'
fan; the sword-knot of Rochester by the note-book of Goldsmith. The
history of London is an epitome of the history of England. Few great men
indeed that England has produced but have some associations that connect
them with London. To be able to recall these associations in a London
walk is a pleasure perpetually renewing, and to all intents
inexhaustible.

Let us, then, at once, without longer halting at the gate, seize the
pilgrim staff and start upon our voyage of discovery, through a
dreamland that will be now Goldsmith's, now Gower's, now Shakespeare's,
now Pope's, London. In Cannon Street, by the old central milestone of
London, grave Romans will meet us and talk of Cæsar and his legions. In
Fleet Street we shall come upon Chaucer beating the malapert Franciscan
friar; at Temple Bar, stare upwards at the ghastly Jacobite heads. In
Smithfield we shall meet Froissart's knights riding to the tournament;
in the Strand see the misguided Earl of Essex defending his house
against Queen Elizabeth's troops, who are turning towards him the cannon
on the roof of St. Clement's church.

But let us first, rather than glance at scattered pictures in a gallery
which is so full of them, measure out, as it were, our future walks,
briefly glancing at the special doors where we shall billet our readers.
The brief summary will serve to broadly epitomise the subject, and will
prove the ceaseless variety of interest which it involves.

We have selected Temple Bar, that old gateway, as a point of departure,
because it is the centre, as near as can be, of historical London, and
is in itself full of interest. We begin with it as a rude wooden
building, which, after the Great Fire, Wren turned into the present arch
of stone, with a room above, where Messrs. Childs, the bankers, store
their books and archives. The trunk of one of the Rye House
conspirators, in Charles II.'s time, first adorned the Bar; and after
that, one after the other, many rash Jacobite heads, in 1715 and 1745,
arrived at the same bad eminence. In many a royal procession and many a
City riot, this gate has figured as a halting-place and a point of
defence. The last rebel's head blew down in 1772; and the last spike was
not removed till the beginning of the present century. In the Popish
Plot days of Charles II. vast processions used to come to Temple Bar to
illuminate the supposed statue of Queen Elizabeth, in the south-east
niche (though it probably really represents Anne of Denmark); and at
great bonfires at the Temple gate the frenzied people burned effigies of
the Pope, while thousands of squibs were discharged, with shouts that
frightened the Popish Portuguese Queen, at that time living at Somerset
House, forsaken by her dissolute scapegrace of a husband.

Turning our faces now towards the old black dome that rises like a
half-eclipsed planet over Ludgate Hill, we first pass along Fleet
Street, a locality full to overflowing with ancient memorials, and in
its modern aspect not less interesting. This street has been from time
immemorial the high road for royal processions. Richard II. has passed
along here to St. Paul's, his parti-coloured robes jingling with golden
bells; and Queen Elizabeth, be-ruffled and be-fardingaled, has glanced
at those gable-ends east of St. Dunstan's, as she rode in her cumbrous
plumed coach to thank God at St. Paul's for the scattering and
shattering of the Armada. Here Cromwell, a king in all but name and
twice a king by nature, received the keys of the City, as he rode to
Guildhall to preside at the banquet of the obsequious Mayor. William of
Orange and Queen Anne both clattered over these stones to return thanks
for victories over the French; and old George III. honoured the street
when, with his handsome but worthless son, he came to thank God for his
partial restoration from that darker region than the valley of the
shadow of death, insanity. We recall many odd and pleasant figures in
this street; first the old printers who succeeded Caxton, who published
for Shakespeare or who timidly speculated in Milton's epic, that great
product of a sorry age; next, the old bankers, who, at Child's and
Hoare's, laid the foundations of permanent wealth, and from simple City
goldsmiths were gradually transformed to great capitalists. Izaak
Walton, honest shopkeeper and patient angler, eyes us from his latticed
window near Chancery Lane; and close by we see the child Cowley reading
the "Fairy Queen" in a window-seat, and already feeling in himself the
inspiration of his later years. The lesser celebrities of later times
call to us as we pass. Garrick's friend Hardham, of the snuff-shop; and
that busy, vain demagogue, Alderman Waithman, whom Cobbett abused
because he was not zealous enough for poor hunted Queen Caroline. Then
there is the shop where barometers were first sold, the great
watchmakers, Tompion and Pinchbeck, to chronicle, and the two churches
to notice. St. Dunstan's is interesting for its early preachers, the
good Romaine and the pious Baxter; and St. Bride's has anecdotes and
legends of its own, and a peal of bells which have in their time excited
as much admiration as those giant hammermen at the old St. Dunstan's
clock, which are now in Regent's Park. The newspaper offices, too,
furnish many curious illustrations of the progress of that great organ
of modern civilisation, the press. At the "Devil" we meet Ben Jonson and
his club; and at John Murray's old shop we stop to see Byron lunging
with his stick at favourite volumes on the shelves, to the bookseller's
great but concealed annoyance. Nor do we forget to sketch Dr. Johnson at
Temple Bar, bantered by his fellow Jacobite, Goldsmith, about the
warning heads upon the gate; at Child's bank pausing to observe the
dinnerless authors returning downcast at the rejection of brilliant but
fruitless proposals; or stopping with Boswell, one hand upon a street
post, to shake the night air with his Cyclopean laughter. Varied as the
colours in a kaleidoscope are the figures that will meet us in these
perambulations; mutable as an opal are the feelings they arouse. To the
man of facts they furnish facts; to the man of imagination,
quick-changing fancies; to the man of science, curious memoranda; to the
historian, bright-worded details, that vivify old pictures now often dim
in tone; to the man of the world, traits of manners; to the general
thinker, aspects of feelings and of passions which expand the knowledge
of human nature; for all these many-coloured stones are joined by the
one golden string of London's history.

But if Fleet Street itself is rich in associations, its side streets,
north and south, are yet richer. Here anecdote and story are clustered
in even closer compass. In these side binns lies hid the choicest wine,
for when Fleet Street had, long since, become two vast rows of shops,
authors, wits, poets, and memorable persons of all kinds, still
inhabited the "closes" and alleys that branch from the main
thoroughfare. Nobles and lawyers long dwelt round St. Dunstan's and St.
Bride's. Scholars, poets, and literati of all kind, long sought refuge
from the grind and busy roar of commerce in the quiet inns and "closes,"
north and south. In what was Shire Lane we come upon the great Kit-Kat
Club, where Addison, Garth, Steele, and Congreve disported; and we look
in on that very evening when the Duke of Kingston, with fatherly pride,
brought his little daughter, afterwards Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and,
setting her on the table, proposed her as a toast. Following the lane
down till it becomes a nest of coiners, thieves, and bullies, we pass on
to Bell Yard, to call on Pope's lawyer friend, Fortescue; and in
Chancery Lane we are deep among the lawyers again. Ghosts of Jarndyces
_v._ Jarndyces, from the Middle Ages downwards, haunt this thoroughfare,
where Wolsey once lived in his pride and state. Izaak Walton dwelt in
this lane once upon a time; and that mischievous adviser of Charles I.,
Earl Strafford, was born here. Hazlitt resided in Southampton Buildings
when he fell in love with the tailor's daughter and wrote that most
stultifying confession of his vanity and weakness, "The New Pygmalion."
Fetter Lane brings us fresh stores of subjects, all essentially
connected with the place, deriving an interest from and imparting a new
interest to it. Praise-God-Barebones, Dryden, Otway, Baxter, and Mrs.
Brownrigg form truly a strange bouquet. By mutual contrast the
incongruous group serves, however, to illustrate various epochs of
London life, and the background serves to explain the actions and the
social position of each and all these motley beings.

In Crane Court, the early home of the Royal Society, Newton is the
central personage, and we tarry to sketch the progress of science and to
smile at the crudity of its early experiments and theories. In Bolt
Court we pause to see a great man die. Here especially Dr. Johnson's
figure ever stands like a statue, and we shall find his black servant at
the door and his dependents wrangling in the front parlour. Burke and
Boswell are on their way to call, and Reynolds is taking coach in the
adjoining street. Nor is even Shoe Lane without its associations, for at
the north-east end the corpse of poor, dishonoured Chatterton lies still
under some neglected rubbish heap; and close by the brilliant Cavalier
poet, Lovelace, pined and perished, almost in beggary.

The southern side of Fleet Street is somewhat less noticeable. Still, in
Salisbury Square the worthy old printer Richardson, amid the din of a
noisy office, wrote his great and pathetic novels; while in Mitre
Buildings Charles Lamb held those delightful conversations, so full of
quaint and kindly thoughts, which were shared in by Hazlitt and all the
odd people Lamb has immortalised in his "Elia"--bibulous Burney, George
Dyer, Holcroft, Coleridge, Hone, Godwin, and Leigh Hunt.

Whitefriars and Blackfriars are our next places of pilgrimage, and they
open up quite new lines of reading and of thought. Though the Great Fire
swept them bare, no district of London has preserved its old lines so
closely; and, walking in Whitefriars, we can still stare through the
gate that once barred off the brawling Copper Captains of Charles II.'s
Alsatia from the contemptuous Templars of King's Bench Walk. Whitefriars
was at first a Carmelite convent, founded, before Blackfriars, on land
given by Edward I.; the chapter-house was given by Henry VII. to his
physician, Dr. Butts (a man mentioned by Shakespeare), and in the reign
of Edward VI. the church was demolished. Whitefriars then, though still
partially inhabited by great people, soon sank into a sanctuary for
runaway bankrupts, cheats, and gamblers. The hall of the monastery was
turned into a theatre, where many of Dryden's plays first appeared. The
players favoured this quarter, where, in the reign of James I., two
henchmen of Lord Sanquire, a revengeful young Scottish nobleman, shot at
his own door a poor fencing-master, who had accidentally put out their
master's eye several years before in a contest of skill. The two men
were hung opposite the Whitefriars gate in Fleet Street. This
disreputable and lawless nest of river-side alleys was called Alsatia,
from its resemblance to the seat of the war then raging on the frontiers
of France, in the dominions of King James's son-in-law, the Prince
Palatine. Its roystering bullies and shifty money-lenders are admirably
sketched by Shadwell in his _Squire of Alsatia_, an excellent comedy
freely used by Sir Walter Scott in his "Fortunes of Nigel," who has laid
several of his strongest scenes in this once scampish region. That great
scholar Selden lived in Whitefriars with the Countess Dowager of Kent,
whom he was supposed to have married; and, singularly enough, the best
edition of his works was printed in Dogwell Court, Whitefriars, by those
eminent printers, Bowyer & Son. At the back of Whitefriars we come upon
Bridewell, the site of a palace of the Norman kings. Cardinal Wolsey
afterwards owned the house, which Henry VIII. reclaimed in his rough and
not very scrupulous manner. It was the old palace to which Henry
summoned all the priors and abbots of England, and where he first
announced his intention of divorcing Katherine of Arragon. After this it
fell into decay. The good Ridley, the martyr, begged it of Edward VI.
for a workhouse and a school. Hogarth painted the female prisoners here
beating hemp under the lash of a cruel turnkey; and Pennant has left a
curious sketch of the herd of girls whom he saw run like hounds to be
fed when a gaoler entered.

If Whitefriars was inhabited by actors, Blackfriars was equally favoured
by players and by painters. The old convent, removed from Holborn, was
often used for Parliaments. Charles V. lodged here when he came over to
win Henry against Francis; and Burbage, the great player of "Richard the
Third," built a theatre in Blackfriars, because the Precinct was out of
the jurisdiction of the City, then ill-disposed to the players.
Shakespeare had a house here, which he left to his favourite daughter,
the deed of conveyance of which sold, in 1841, for £165 15s. He must
have thought of his well-known neighbourhood when he wrote the scenes of
Henry VIII., where Katherine was divorced and Wolsey fell, for both
events were decided in Blackfriars Parliaments. Oliver, the great
miniature painter, and Jansen, a favourite portrait painter of James I.,
lived in Blackfriars, where we shall call upon them; and Vandyke spent
nine happy years here by the river side. The most remarkable event
connected with Blackfriars is the falling in of the floor of a Roman
Catholic private chapel in 1623, by which fifty-nine persons perished,
including the priest, to the exultation of the Puritans, who pronounced
the event a visitation of Heaven on Popish superstition. Pamphlets of
the time, well rummaged by us, describe the scene with curious
exactness, and mention the singular escapes of several persons on the
"Fatal Vespers," as they were afterwards called.

Leaving the racket of Alsatia and its wild doings behind us, we come
next to that great monastery of lawyers, the Temple--like Whitefriars
and Blackfriars, also the site of a bygone convent. The warlike Templars
came here in their white cloaks and red crosses from their first
establishment in Southampton Buildings, and they held it during all the
Crusades, in which they fought so valorously against the Paynim, till
they grew proud and corrupt, and were suspected of worshipping idols and
ridiculing Christianity. Their work done, they perished, and the Knights
of St. John took possession of their halls, church, and cloisters. The
incoming lawyers became tenants of the Crown, and the parade-ground of
the Templars and the river-side terrace and gardens were tenanted by
more peaceful occupants. The manners and customs of the lawyers of
various ages, their quaint revels, fox-huntings in hall, and dances
round the coal fire, deserve special notice; and swarms of anecdotes and
odd sayings and doings buzz round us as we write of the various denizens
of the Temple--Dr. Johnson, Goldsmith, Lamb, Coke, Plowden, Jefferies,
Cowper, Butler, Parsons, Sheridan, and Tom Moore; and we linger at the
pretty little fountain and think of those who have celebrated its
praise. Every binn of this cellar of lawyers has its story, and a volume
might well be written in recording the toils and struggles, successes
and failures, of the illustrious owners of Temple chambers.

Thence we pass to Ludgate, where that old London inn, the "Belle
Sauvage," calls up associations of the early days of theatres,
especially of Banks and his wonderful performing horse, that walked up
one of the towers of Old St. Paul's. Hone's old shop reminds us of the
delightful books he published, aided by Lamb and Leigh Hunt. The old
entrance of the City, Ludgate, has quite a history of its own. It was a
debtors' prison, rebuilt in the time of King John from the remains of
demolished Jewish houses, and was enlarged by the widow of Stephen
Forster, Lord Mayor in the reign of Henry VI., who, tradition says, had
been himself a prisoner in Ludgate, till released by a rich widow, who
saw his handsome face through the grate and married him. St. Martin's
church, Ludgate, is one of Wren's churches, and is chiefly remarkable
for its stolid conceit in always getting in the way of the west front of
St. Paul's.

The great Cathedral has been the scene of events that illustrate almost
every age of English history. This is the third St. Paul's. The first,
falsely supposed to have been built on the site of a Roman temple of
Diana, was burnt down in the last year of William the Conqueror.
Innumerable events connected with the history of the City happened here,
from the killing a bishop at the north door, in the reign of Edward II.,
to the public exposure of Richard II.'s body after his murder; while at
the Cross in the churchyard the authorities of the City, and even our
kings, often attended the public sermons, and in the same place the
citizens once held their Folkmotes, riotous enough on many an occasion.
Great men's tombs abounded in Old St. Paul's--John of Gaunt, Lord
Bacon's father, Sir Philip Sydney, Donne, the poet, and Vandyke being
very prominent among them. Fired by lightning in Elizabeth's reign, when
the Cathedral had become a resort of newsmongers and a thoroughfare for
porters and carriers, it was partly rebuilt in Charles I.'s reign by
Inigo Jones. The repairs were stopped by the civil wars, when the
Puritans seized the funds, pulled down the scaffolding, and turned the
church into a cavalry barracks. The Great Fire swept all clear for Wren,
who now found a fine field for his genius; but vexatious difficulties
embarrassed him at the very outset. His first great plan was rejected,
and the Duke of York (afterwards James II.) is said to have insisted on
side recesses, that might serve as chantry chapels when the church
became Roman Catholic. Wren was accused of delays and chidden for the
faults of petty workmen, and, as the Duchess of Marlborough laughingly
remarked, was dragged up and down in a basket two or three times a week
for a paltry £200 a year. The narrow escape of Sir James Thornhill from
falling from a scaffold while painting the dome is a tradition of St.
Paul's, matched by the terrible adventure of Mr. Gwyn, who when
measuring the dome slid down the convex surface till his foot was stayed
by a small projecting lump of lead. This leads us naturally on to the
curious monomaniac who believed himself the slave of a demon who lived
in the bell of the Cathedral, and whose case is singularly deserving of
analysis. We shall give a short sketch of the heroes whose tombs have
been admitted into St. Paul's, and having come to those of the great
demi-gods of the old wars, Nelson and Wellington, pass to anecdotes
about the clock and bells, and arrive at the singular story of the
soldier whose life was saved by his proving that he had heard St. Paul's
clock strike thirteen. Queen Anne's statue in the churchyard, too, has
given rise to epigrams worthy of preservation, and the progress of the
restoration will be carefully detailed.

[Illustration: THE OLD WOODEN TEMPLE BAR (_see page 2_).]

Cheapside, famous from the Saxon days, next invites our wandering feet.
The north side remained an open field as late as Edward III.'s reign,
and tournaments were held there. The knights, whose deeds Froissart has
immortalised, broke spears there, in the presence of the Queen and her
ladies, who smiled on their champions from a wooden tower erected across
the street. Afterwards a stone shed was raised for the same sights, and
there Henry VIII., disguised as a yeoman, with a halbert on his
shoulder, came on one occasion to see the great City procession of the
night watch by torchlight on St. John's Eve. Wren afterwards, when he
rebuilt Bow Church, provided a balcony in the tower for the Royal Family
to witness similar pageants. Old Bow Church, we must not forget to
record, was seized in the reign of Richard I. by Longbeard, the
desperate ringleader of a Saxon rising, who was besieged there, and
eventually burned out and put to death. The great Cross of Cheapside
recalls many interesting associations, for it was one of the nine
Eleanor crosses. Regilt for many coronations, it was eventually pulled
down by the Puritans during the civil wars. Then there was the Standard,
near Bow Church, where Wat Tyler and Jack Cade beheaded several
objectionable nobles and citizens; and the great Conduit at the east
end--each with its memorable history. But the great feature of Cheapside
is, after all, Guildhall. This is the hall that Whittington paved and
where Walworth once ruled. In Guildhall Lady Jane Grey and her husband
were tried; here the Jesuit Garnet was arraigned for his share in the
Gunpowder Plot; here it was Charles I. appealed to the Common Council to
arrest Hampden and the other patriots who had fled from his eager claws
into the friendly City; and here, in the spot still sacred to liberty,
the Lords and Parliament declared for the Prince of Orange. To pass this
spot without some salient anecdotes of the various Lord Mayors would be
a disgrace; and the banquets themselves, from that of Whittington, when
he threw Henry V.'s bonds for £60,000 into a spice bonfire, to those in
the present reign, deserve some notice and comment. The curiosities of
Guildhall in themselves are not to be lightly passed over, for they
record many vicissitudes of the great City; and Gog and Magog are
personages of importance only secondary to that of Lord Mayor, and not
in any way to be disregarded. The Mansion House, built in 1789, leads us
to much chat about "gold chains, warm furs, broad banners and broad
faces;" for a folio might be well filled with curious anecdotes of the
Lord Mayors of various ages--from Sir John Norman, who first went in
procession to Westminster by water, to Sir John Shorter (James II.), who
was killed by a fall from his horse as he stopped at Newgate, according
to custom, to take a tankard of wine, nutmeg, and sugar. There is a word
to say of many a celebrity in the long roll of Mayors--more especially
of Beckford, who is said to have startled George III. by a violent
patriotic remonstrance, and of the notorious John Wilkes, that ugly
demagogue, who led the City in many an attack on the King and his unwise
Ministers.

[Illustration: BURNING THE POPE IN EFFIGY AT TEMPLE BAR (_see page 2_).]

The tributaries of Cheapside also abound in interest, and mark various
stages in the history of the great City. Bread Street was the bread
market of the time of Edward I., and is especially honoured for being
the birthplace of Milton; and in Milk Street (the old milk market) Sir
Thomas More was born. Gutter Lane reminds us of its first Danish owner;
and many other turnings have their memorable legends and traditions.

The Halls of the City Companies, the great hospitals, and Gothic
schools, will each by turn detain us; and we shall not forget to call at
the Bank, the South-Sea House, and other great proofs of past commercial
folly and present wealth. The Bank, projected by a Scotch theorist in
1691 (William III.), after many migrations, settled down in Threadneedle
Street in 1734. It has a history of its own, and we shall see during the
Gordon Riots the old pewter inkstands melted down for bullets, and,
prodigy of prodigies! Wilkes himself rushing out to seize the cowardly
ringleaders!

By many old houses of good pedigree and by several City churches worthy
a visit, we come at last to the Monument, which Wren erected and which
Cibber decorated. This pillar, which Pope compared to "a tall bully,"
once bore an inscription that greatly offended the Court. It attributed
the Great Fire of London, which began close by there, to the Popish
faction; but the words were erased in 1831. Littleton, who compiled the
Dictionary, once wrote a Latin inscription for the Monument, which
contained the names of seven Lord Mayors in one word:--

    "Fordo-Watermanno-Harrisono-Hookero-Vinero-Sheldono-Davisonam."

But the learned production was, singularly enough, never used. The word,
which Littleton called "an heptastic vocable," comprehended the names of
the seven Lord Mayors in whose mayoralties the Monument was begun,
continued, and completed.

On London Bridge we might linger for many chapters. The first bridge
thrown over the Thames was a wooden one, erected by the nuns of St.
Mary's Monastery, a convent of sisters endowed by the daughter of a rich
Thames ferryman. The bridge figures as a fortified place in the early
Danish invasions, and the Norwegian Prince Olaf nearly dragged it to
pieces in trying to dispossess the Danes, who held it in 1008. It was
swept away in a flood, and its successor was burnt. In the reign of
Henry II., Pious Peter, a chaplain of St. Mary Colechurch, in the
Poultry, built a stone bridge a little further west, and the king helped
him with the proceeds of a tax on wool, which gave rise to the old
saying that "London Bridge was built upon woolpacks." Peter's bridge was
a curious structure, with nineteen pointed arches and a drawbridge.
There was a fortified gatehouse at each end, and a gothic chapel towards
the centre, dedicated to St. Thomas à Becket, the spurious martyr of
Canterbury. In Queen Elizabeth's reign there were shops on either side,
with flat roofs, arbours, and gardens, and at the south end rose a great
four-storey wooden house, brought from Holland, which was covered with
carving and gilding. In the Middle Ages, London Bridge was the scene of
affrays of all kinds. Soon after it was built, the houses upon it caught
fire at both ends, and 3,000 persons perished, wedged in among the
flames. Henry III. was driven back here by the rebellious De Montfort,
Earl of Leicester. Wat Tyler entered the City by London Bridge; and,
later, Richard II. was received here with gorgeous ceremonies. It was
the scene of one of Henry V.'s greatest triumphs, and also of his
stately funeral procession. Jack Cade seized London Bridge, and as he
passed slashed in two the ropes of the drawbridge, though soon after his
head was stuck on the gatehouse. From this bridge the rebel Wyatt was
driven by the guns of the Tower; and in Elizabeth's reign water-works
were erected on the bridge. There was a great conflagration on the
bridge in 1632, and eventually the Great Fire almost destroyed it. In
the Middle Ages countless rebels' heads were stuck on the gate-houses of
London Bridge. Brave Wallace's was placed there; and so were the heads
of Henry VIII.'s victims--Fisher, Bishop of Rochester and Sir Thomas
More, the latter trophy being carried off by the stratagem of his brave
daughter. Garnet, the Gunpowder-Plot Jesuit, also contributed to the
ghastly triumphs of justice. Several celebrated painters, including
Hogarth, lived at one time or another on the bridge; and Swift and Pope
used to frequent the shop of a witty bookseller, who lived under the
northern gate. One or two celebrated suicides have taken place at London
Bridge, and among these we may mention that of Sir William Temple's son,
who was Secretary of War, and Eustace Budgell, a broken-down author, who
left behind him as an apology the following sophism:--

    "What Cato did and Addison approved of cannot be wrong."

Pleasanter is it to remember the anecdote of the brave apprentice, who
leaped into the Thames from the window of a house on the bridge to save
his master's infant daughter, whom a careless nurse had dropped into the
river. When the girl grew up, many noble suitors came, but the generous
father was obdurate. "No," said the honest citizen; "Osborne saved her,
and Osborne shall have her." And so he had; and Osborne's great grandson
throve and became the first Duke of Leeds. The frequent loss of lives in
shooting the arches of the old bridge, where the fall was at times five
feet, led at last to a cry for a new bridge, and one was commenced in
1824. Rennie designed it, and in 1831 William IV. and Queen Adelaide
opened it. One hundred and twenty thousand tons of stone went to its
formation. The old bridge was not entirely removed till 1832, when the
bones of the builder, Pious Peter of Colechurch, were found in the crypt
of the central chapel, where tradition had declared they lay. The iron
of the piles of the old bridge was bought by a cutler in the Strand, and
produced steel of the highest quality. Part of the old stone was
purchased by Alderman Harmer, to build his house, Ingress Abbey, near
Greenhithe.

Southwark, a Roman station and cemetery, is by no means without a
history. It was burned by William the Conqueror, and had been the scene
of battle against the Danes. It possessed palaces, monasteries, a mint,
and fortifications. The Bishops of Winchester and Rochester once lived
here in splendour; and the locality boasted its four Elizabethan
theatres. The Globe was Shakespeare's summer theatre, and here it was
that his greatest triumphs were attained. What was acted there is best
told by making Shakespeare's share in the management distinctly
understood; nor can we leave Southwark without visiting the "Tabard
Inn," from whence Chaucer's nine-and-twenty jovial pilgrims set out for
Canterbury.

The Tower rises next before our eyes; and as we pass under its
battlements the grimmest and most tragic scenes of English history seem
again rising before us. Whether Cæsar first built a tower here or
William the Conqueror, may never be decided; but one thing is certain,
that more tears have been shed within these walls than anywhere else in
London. Every stone has its story. Here Wallace, in chains, thought of
Scotland; here Queen Anne Boleyn placed her white hands round her
slender neck, and said the headsman would have little trouble. Here
Catharine Howard, Sir Thomas More, Cranmer, Northumberland, Lady Jane
Grey, Wyatt, and the Earl of Essex all perished. Here, Clarence was
drowned in a butt of wine and the two boy princes were murdered. Many
victims of kings, many kingly victims, have here perished. Many patriots
have here sighed for liberty. The poisoning of Overbury is a mystery of
the Tower, the perusal of which never wearies though the dark secret be
unsolvable; and we can never cease to sympathise with that brave woman,
the Countess of Nithsdale, who risked her life to save her husband's.
From Laud and Strafford we turn to Eliot and Hutchinson--for Cavaliers
and Puritans were both by turns prisoners in the Tower. From Lord
William Russell and Algernon Sydney we come down in the chronicle of
suffering to the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745; from them to Wilkes, Lord
George Gordon, Burdett, and, last of all the Tower prisoners, to the
infamous Thistlewood.

Leaving the crimson scaffold on Tower Hill, we return as sightseers to
glance over the armoury and to catch the sparkle of the Royal jewels.
Here is the identical crown that that daring villain Blood stole and the
heart-shaped ruby that the Black Prince once wore; here we see the
swords, sceptres, and diadems of many of our monarchs. In the armoury
are suits on which many lances have splintered and swords struck; the
imperishable steel clothes of many a dead king are here, unchanged since
the owners doffed them. This suit was the Earl of Leicester's--the
"Kenilworth" earl, for see his cognizance of the bear and ragged staff
on the horse's chanfron. This richly-gilt suit was worn by James I.'s
ill-starred son, Prince Henry, whom many thought was poisoned by
Buckingham; and this quaint mask, with ram's horns and spectacles,
belonged to Will Somers, Henry VIII.'s jester.

From the Tower we break away into the far east, among the old clothes
shops, the bird markets, the costermongers, and the weavers of
Whitechapel and Spitalfields. We are far from jewels here and Court
splendour, and we come to plain working people and their homely ways.
Spitalfields was the site of a priory of Augustine canons, however, and
has ancient traditions of its own. The weavers, of French origin, are an
interesting race--we shall have to sketch their sayings and doings; and
we shall search Whitechapel diligently for old houses and odd people.
The district may not furnish so many interesting scenes and anecdotes as
the West End, but it is well worthy of study from many modern points of
view.

Smithfield and Holborn are regions fertile in associations. Smithfield,
that broad plain, the scene of so many martyrdoms, tournaments, and
executions, forms an interesting subject for a diversified chapter. In
this market-place the ruffians of Henry VIII.'s time met to fight out
their quarrels with sword and buckler. Here the brave Wallace was
executed like a common robber; and here "the gentle Mortimer" was led to
a shameful death. The spot was the scene of great jousts in Edward
III.'s chivalrous reign, when, after the battle of Poictiers, the Kings
of France and Scotland came seven days running to see spears shivered
and "the Lady of the Sun" bestow the prizes of valour. In this same
field Walworth slew the rebel Wat Tyler, who had treated Richard II.
with insolence, and by this prompt blow dispersed the insurgents, who
had grown so dangerously strong. In Henry VIII.'s reign poisoners were
boiled to death in Smithfield; and in cruel Mary's reign the Protestant
martyrs were burned in the same place. "Of the two hundred and
seventy-seven persons burnt for heresy in Mary's reign," says a modern
antiquary, "the greater number perished in Smithfield;" and ashes and
charred bodies have been dug up opposite to the gateway of Bartholomew's
Church and at the west end of Long Lane. After the Great Fire the
houseless citizens were sheltered here in tents. Over against the corner
where the Great Fire abated is Cock Lane, the scene of the rapping
ghost, in which Dr. Johnson believed and concerning which Goldsmith
wrote a catchpenny pamphlet.

Holborn and its tributaries come next, and are by no means deficient in
legends and matter of general interest. "The original name of the street
was the Hollow Bourne," says a modern etymologist, "not the Old Bourne;"
it was not paved till the reign of Henry V. The ride up "the Heavy Hill"
from Newgate to Tyburn has been sketched by Hogarth and sung by Swift.
In Ely Place once lived the Bishop of Ely; and in Hatton Garden resided
Queen Elizabeth's favourite, the dancing chancellor, Sir Christopher
Hatton. In Furnival's Inn Dickens wrote "Pickwick." In Barnard's Inn
died the last of the alchemists. In Staple's Inn Dr. Johnson wrote
"Rasselas," to pay the expenses of his mother's funeral. In Brooke
Street, where Chatterton poisoned himself, lived Lord Brooke, a poet and
statesman, who was a patron of Ben Jonson and Shakespeare, and who was
assassinated by a servant whose name he had omitted in his will. Milton
lived for some time in a house in Holborn that opened at the back on
Lincoln's Inn Fields. Fox Court leads us to the curious inquiry whether
Savage, the poet, was a conscious or an unconscious impostor; and at the
Blue Boar Inn Cromwell and Ireton discovered by stratagem the
treacherous letter of King Charles to his queen, that rendered Cromwell
for ever the King's enemy. These are only a few of the countless
associations of Holborn.

Newgate is a gloomy but an interesting subject for us. Many wild faces
have stared through its bars since, in King John's time, it became a
City prison. We shall look in on Sarah Malcolm, Mrs. Brownrigg, Jack
Sheppard, Governor Wall, and other interesting criminals; we shall stand
at Wren's elbow when he designs the new prison, and follow the Gordon
Rioters when they storm in over the burning walls.

The Strand stands next to Fleet Street as a central point of old
memories. It is not merely full, it positively teems. For centuries it
was a fashionable street, and noblemen inhabited the south side
especially, for the sake of the river. In Essex Street, on a part of the
Temple, Queen Elizabeth's rash favourite (the Earl of Essex) was
besieged, after his hopeless foray into the City. In Arundel Street
lived the Earls of Arundel; in Buckingham Street Charles I.'s greedy
favourite began a palace. There were royal palaces, too, in the Strand,
for at the Savoy lived John of Gaunt; and Somerset House was built by
the Protector Somerset with the stones of the churches he had pulled
down. Henrietta Maria (Charles I.'s Queen) and poor neglected Catherine
of Braganza dwelt at Somerset House; and it was here that Sir Edmondbury
Godfrey, the zealous Protestant magistrate, was supposed to have been
murdered. There is, too, the history of Lord Burleigh's house (in Cecil
Street) to record; and Northumberland House still stands to recall to us
its many noble inmates. On the other side of the Strand we have to note
Butcher Row (now pulled down), where the Gunpowder Plot conspirators
met; Exeter House, where Lord Burleigh's wily son lived; and, finally,
Exeter 'Change, where the poet Gay lay in state. Nor shall we forget
Cross's menagerie and the elephant Chunee; nor omit mention of many of
the eccentric old shopkeepers who once inhabited the 'Change. At Charing
Cross we shall stop to see the old Cromwellians die bravely, and to
stare at the pillory, where in their time many incomparable scoundrels
ignominiously stood. The Nelson Column and the surrounding statues have
stories of their own; and St. Martin's Lane is specially interesting as
the haunt of half the painters of the early Georgian era. There are
anecdotes of Hogarth and his friends to be picked up here in abundance,
and the locality generally deserves exploration, from the quaintness and
cleverness of its former inhabitants.

In Covent Garden we break fresh ground. We found St. Martin's Lane full
of artists, Guildhall full of aldermen, the Strand full of noblemen--the
old monastic garden will prove to be crowded with actors. We shall trace
the market from the first few sheds under the wall of Bedford House to
the present grand temple of Flora and Pomona. We shall see Evans's a new
mansion, inhabited by Ben Jonson's friend and patron, Sir Kenelm Digby,
alternately tenanted by Sir Harry Vane, Denzil Holles (one of the five
refractory members whom Charles I. went to the House of Commons so
imprudently to seize), and Admiral Russell, who defeated the French at
La Hogue. The ghost of Parson Ford, in which Johnson believed, awaits us
at the doorway of the Hummums. There are several duels to witness in the
Piazza; Dryden to call upon as he sits, the arbiter of wits, by the
fireside at Will's Coffee House; Addison is to be found at Button's; at
the "Bedford" we shall meet Garrick and Quin, and stop a moment at Tom
King's, close to St. Paul's portico, to watch Hogarth's revellers fight
with swords and shovels, that frosty morning that the painter sketched
the prim old maid going to early service. We shall look in at the
Tavistock to see Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller at work at
portraits of beauties of the Carolean and Jacobean Courts; remembering
that in the same rooms Sir James Thornhill afterwards painted, and poor
Richard Wilson produced those fine landscapes which so few had the taste
to buy. The old hustings deserve a word, and we shall have to record the
lamentable murder of Miss Ray by her lover, at the north-east angle of
the square. The neighbourhood of Covent Garden, too, is rife with
stories of great actors and painters, and nearly every house furnishes
its quota of anecdote.

The history of Drury Lane and Covent Garden theatres supplies us with
endless anecdotes of actors, and with humorous and pathetic narratives
that embrace the whole region both of tragedy and comedy. Quin's jokes,
Garrick's weaknesses, the celebrated O.P. riots, contrast with the
miserable end of some popular favourites and the caprices of genius. The
oddities of Munden, the humour of Liston, only serve to render the gloom
of Kean's downfall more terrible, and to show the wreck and ruin of many
unhappy men, equally wilful though less gifted. There is a perennial
charm about theatrical stories, and the history of these theatres must
be illustrated by many a sketch of the loves and rivalries of actors,
their fantastic tricks, their practical jokes, their gay progress to
success or ruin. Changes of popular taste are marked by the change of
character in the pieces that have been performed in various ages; and
the history of the two theatres will include various illustrative
sketches of dramatic writers, as well as actors. There was a vast
interval in literature between the tragedies of Addison and Murphey and
the comedies of Holcroft, O'Keefe, and Morton; the descent to modern
melodrama and burlesque must be traced through various gradations, and
the reasons shown for the many modifications both classes of
entertainments have undergone.

Westminster, from the night St. Peter came over from Lambeth in the
fisherman's boat, and chose a site for the Abbey in the midst of Thorney
Island, to the present day, has been a spot where the pilgrim to
historic shrines loves to linger. Need we remind our readers that Edward
the Confessor built the Abbey, or that William the Conqueror was crowned
here, the ceremony ending in tumult and blood? How vast the store of
facts from which we have to cull! We see the Jews being beaten nearly to
death for daring to attend the coronation of Richard I.; we observe
Edward I. watching the sacred stone of Scotland being placed beneath his
coronation chair; we behold for the first time, at Richard II.'s
coronation, the champion riding into the Hall, to challenge all who
refuse allegiance; we see, at the funeral of Anne of Bohemia, Richard
beating the Earl of Arundel for wishing to leave before the service is
over. We hear the _Te Deum_ that is sung for the victory of Agincourt,
and watch Henry VI. selecting a site for a resting-place; we hear for
the last time, at the coronation of Henry VIII., the sanction of the
Pope bestowed upon an English monarch; we pity poor Queen Caroline
attempting to enter the Abbey to see her worthless husband crowned; and
we view the last coronation, and draw auguries of a purer if not a
happier age. The old Hall, too; could we neglect that ancient chamber,
where Charles I. was sentenced to death, and where Cromwell was throned
in almost regal splendour? We must see it in all its special moments;
when the seven bishops were acquitted, and the shout of joy shook London
as with an earthquake; and when the rebel lords were tried. We must hear
Lord Byron tried for his duel with Mr. Chaworth, and mad Lord Ferrers
condemned for shooting his steward. We shall get a side-view of the
shameless Duchess of Kingston, and hear Burke and Sheridan grow eloquent
over the misdeeds of Warren Hastings.

[Illustration: BRIDEWELL IN 1666 (_see page 4_).]

The parks now draw us westward, and we wander through them: in St.
James's seeing Charles II. feeding his ducks or playing "pall-mall;" in
Hyde Park observing the fashions and extravagancies of many generations.
Romeo Coates will whisk past us in his fantastic chariot, and the beaus
and oddities of many generations will pace past us in review. There will
be celebrated duels to describe, and various strange follies to deride.
We shall see Cromwell thrown from his coach, and shall witness the
foot-races that Pepys describes. Dryden's gallants and masked ladies
will receive some mention; and we shall tell of bygone encampments and
of many events now almost forgotten.

Kensington will recall many anecdotes of William of Orange, his beloved
Queen, stupid Prince George of Denmark, and George II., who all died at
the palace, the old seat of the Finches. We are sure to find good
company in the gardens. Still as when Tickell sang, every walk

    "Seems from afar a moving tulip bed,
    Where rich brocades and glossy damasks glow,
    And chintz, the rival of the showery bow."

There is Newton's house at South Kensington to visit, and Wilkie's and
Mrs. Inchbald's; and, above all, there is Holland House, the scene of
the delightful Whig coteries of Tom Moore's time. Here Addison lived to
regret his marriage with a lady of rank, and here he died. At Kensington
Charles James Fox spent his youth.

[Illustration: PART OF MODERN LONDON, SHOWING THE ANCIENT WALL (_see
page 20_).]

And now Chelsea brings us pleasant recollections of Sir Thomas More,
Swift, Sir Robert Walpole, and Atterbury. "Chelsith," Sir Thomas More
used to call it when Holbein was lodging in his house and King Henry,
who afterwards beheaded his old friend, used to come to dinner, and
after dinner walk round the fair garden with his arm round his host's
neck. More was fond of walking on the flat roof of his gatehouse, which
commanded a pleasant prospect of the Thames and the fields beyond. Let
us hope the tradition is not true that he used to bind heretics to a
tree in his garden. In 1717 Chelsea only contained 350 houses, and these
in 1725 had grown to 1,350. There is Cheyne Walk, so called from the
Lords Cheyne, owners of the manor; and we must not forget Don Saltero
and his famous coffee-house, the oddities of which Steele pleasantly
sketched in the Tatler. The Don was famous for his skill in brewing
punch and for his excellent playing on the fiddle. Saltero was a
barber, who drew teeth, drew customers, wrote verses, and collected
curiosities.

    "Some relics of the Sheban queen
    And fragments of the famed Bob Crusoe."

Swift lodged at Chelsea, over against the Jacobite Bishop Atterbury, who
so nearly lost his head. In one of his delightful letters to Stella
Swift describes "the Old Original Chelsea Bun House," and the
r-r-r-r-rare Chelsea buns. He used to leave his best gown and perriwig
at Mrs. Vanhomrig's, in Suffolk Street, then walk up Pall Mall, through
the park, out at Buckingham House, and on to Chelsea, a little beyond
the church (5,748 steps), he says, in less than an hour, which was
leisurely walking even for the contemplative and observant dean. Smollet
laid a scene of his "Humphrey Clinker" in Chelsea, where he lived for
some time.

The Princess Elizabeth, when a girl, lived at Chelsea, with that
dangerous man, with whom she is said to have fallen in love, the Lord
Admiral Seymour, afterwards beheaded. He was the second husband of
Katherine Parr, one of the many wives of Elizabeth's father. Cremorne
was, in Walpole's days, the villa of Lord Cremorne, an Irish nobleman;
and near here, at a river-side cottage died, in miserly and cynical
obscurity, the greatest of our modern landscape painters, Turner. Then
there is Chelsea Hospital to visit. This hospital was built by Wren;
Charles II., it is said at Nell Gwynn's suggestion, originated the good
work, which was finished by William and Mary. Dr. Arbuthnot, that good
man so beloved by the Pope set, was physician here, and the Rev. Philip
Francis, who translated Horace, was chaplain. Nor can we leave Chelsea
without remembering Sir Hans Sloane, whose collection of antiquities,
sold for £20,000, formed the first nucleus of the British Museum, and
who resided at Chelsea; nor shall we forget the Chelsea china
manufactory, one of the earliest porcelain manufactories in England,
patronized by George II., who brought over German artificers from
Brunswick and Saxony. In the reign of Louis XV. the French manufacturers
began to regard it with jealousy and petitioned their king for special
privileges. Ranelagh, too, that old pleasure-garden which Dr. Johnson
declared was "the finest thing he had ever seen," deserves a word;
Horace Walpole was constantly there, though at first, he owns, he
preferred Vauxhall; and Lord Chesterfield was so fond of it that he used
to say he should order all his letters to be directed there.

The West End squares are pleasant spots for our purpose, and at many
doors we shall have to make a call. In Landsdowne House (in Berkeley
Square) it is supposed by many that Lord Shelburne, Colonel Barre, and
Dunning wrote "Junius"; certain it is that the Marquis of Landsdowne, in
1809, acknowledged the possession of the secret, but died the following
week, before he could disclose it. Here, in 1774, that persecuted
philosopher, Dr. Priestley, the librarian to Lord Shelburne, discovered
oxygen. In this square Horace Walpole (that delightful letter-writer)
died and Lord Clive destroyed himself. Then there is Grosvenor Square,
where that fat, easy-going Minister, Lord North, lived, where Wilkes the
notorious resided, and where the Cato-Street conspirators planned to
kill all the Cabinet Ministers, who had been invited to dinner by the
Earl of Harrowby. In Hanover Square we visit Lord Rodney, &c. In St.
James's Square we recall William III. coming to the Earl of Romney's to
see fireworks let off and, later, the Prince Regent, from a balcony,
displaying to the people the Eagles captured at Waterloo. Queen Caroline
resided here during her trial, and many of Charles II.'s frail beauties
also resided in the same spot. In Cavendish Square we stop to describe
the splendid projects of that great Duke of Chandos whom Pope
ridiculed. Nor are the lesser squares by any means devoid of interest.

In Pall Mall the laziest gleaner of London traditions might find a
harvest. On the site of Carlton House--the Prince Regent's palace--were,
in the reign of Henry VI., monastic buildings, in which (reign of Henry
VIII.) Erasmus afterwards resided. They were pulled down at the
Reformation. Nell Gwynn lived here, and so did Sir William Temple,
Swift's early patron, the pious Boyle, and that poor puff-ball of vanity
and pretence--Bubb Doddington. Here we have to record the unhappy duel
at the "Star and Garter" tavern between Lord Byron and Mr. Chaworth, and
the murder of Mr. Thynne by his rival, Count Köningsmark. There is
Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery to notice, and Dodsley's shop, which
Burke, Johnson, and Garrick so often visited. There is also the origin
of the Royal Academy, at a house opposite Market Lane, to chronicle,
many club-houses to visit, and curious memorabilia of all kinds to be
sifted, selected, contrasted, mounted, and placed in sequence for view.

Then comes Marylebone, formerly a suburb, famous only for its hunting
park (now Regent's Park), its gardens, and its bowling-greens. In Queen
Elizabeth's time the Russian ambassadors were sent to hunt in Marylebone
Park; Cromwell sold it--deer, timber, and all--for £13,000. The
Marylebone Bowling Greens, which preceded the gardens, were at first the
resort of noblemen and gentlemen, but eventually highwaymen began to
frequent them. The Duke of Buckingham (whom Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
glances at in the line,

    "Some dukes at Marybone bowl time away")

used, at an annual dinner to the frequenters of the gardens, to give the
agreeable toast,--"May as many of us as remain unhanged next spring meet
here again." Eventually burlettas were produced--one written by
Chatterton; and Dr. Arne conducted Handel's music. Marylebone, in the
time of Hogarth, was a favourite place for prize fights and back-sword
combats, the great champion being Figg, that bullet-headed man with the
bald, plaistered head, whom Hogarth has represented mounting grim sentry
in his "Southwark Fair." The great building at Marylebone began between
1718 and 1729. In 1739 there were only 577 houses in the parish; in 1851
there were 16,669. In many of the nooks and corners of Marylebone we
shall find curious facts and stories worth the unravelling.

[Illustration: PLAN OF ROMAN LONDON (_see page 20_).]

The eastern squares, in Bloomsbury and St. Pancras, are regions not by
any means to be lightly passed by. Bloomsbury Square was built by the
Earl of Southampton, about the time of the Restoration, and was thought
one of the wonders of England. Baxter lived here when he was tormented
by Judge Jefferies; Sir Hans Sloane was one of its inhabitants; so was
that great physician, Dr. Radcliffe. The burning of Mansfield House by
Lord George Gordon's rioters has to be minutely described. In Russell
Square we visit the houses of Sir Thomas Lawrence and of Judge Talfourd,
and search for that celebrated spot in London legend, "The Field of the
Forty Footsteps," where two brothers, it is said, killed each other in a
duel for a lady, who sat by watching the fight. Then there is Red Lion
Square, where tradition says some faithful adherents, at the
Restoration, buried the body of Cromwell, to prevent its desecration at
Tyburn; and we have to cull some stories of a good old inhabitant, Jonas
Hanway, the great promoter of many of the London charities, the first
man who habitually used an umbrella and Dr. Johnson's spirited opponent
on the important question of tea. Soho Square, too, has many a
tradition, for the Duke of Monmouth lived there in great splendour; and
in Hogarth's time Mrs. Cornelys made the square celebrated by her
masquerades, which in time became disreputable. Sir Cloudesley Shovel,
Sir Joseph Banks, and Burnet, the historian, were all inhabitants of
this locality.

Islington brings us back to days when Henry VIII. came there to hawk the
partridge and the heron, and when the London citizens wandered out
across the northern fields to drink milk and eat cheesecakes. The old
houses abound in legends of Sir Walter Raleigh, Topham, the strong man,
George Morland, the artist, and Henderson, the actor. At Canonbury, the
old tower of the country house of the Prior of St. Bartholomew recalls
to us Goldsmith, who used to come there to hide from his creditors, go
to bed early, and write steadily.

At Highgate and Hampstead we shall scour the northern uplands of London
by no means in vain, as we shall find Belsize House, in Charles II.'s
time, openly besieged by robbers and, long afterwards, highwaymen
swarming in the same locality. The chalybeate wells of Hampstead lead us
on to the Heath, where wolves were to be found in the twelfth century
and highwaymen as late as 1803. Good company awaits us at pleasant
Hampstead--Lord Erskine, Lord Chatham, Keats, Akenside, Leigh Hunt, and
Sir Fowell Buxton; Booth, Wilkes, and Colley Cibber; Mrs. Barbauld,
honest Dick Steele, and Joanna Baillie. As for Highgate, for ages a
mere hamlet, a forest, it once boasted a bishop's palace, and there we
gather, with free hand, memories of Sacheverell, Rowe, Dr. Watts,
Hogarth, Coleridge, and Lord Mansfield; Ireton, Marvell, and Dick
Whittington, the worthy demi-god of London apprentices to the end of
time.

Lambeth, where Harold was crowned, can hold its own in interest with any
part of London--for it once possessed two ecclesiastical palaces and
many places of amusement. Lambeth Palace itself is a spot of extreme
interest. Here Wat Tyler's men dragged off Archbishop Sudbury to
execution; here, when Laud was seized, the Parliamentary soldiers turned
the palace into a prison for Royalists and demolished the great hall.
Outside the walls of the church James II.'s Queen cowered in the
December rain with her child, till a coach could be brought from the
neighbouring inn to convey her to Gravesend to take ship for France. The
Gordon rioters attacked the palace in 1780, but were driven off by a
detachment of Guards. The Lollards' Tower has to be visited, and the
sayings and doings of a long line of prelates to be reviewed. Vauxhall
brings us back to the days when Walpole went with Lady Caroline
Petersham and helped to stew chickens in a china dish over a lamp; or we
go further back and accompany Addison and the worthy Sir Roger de
Coverley, and join them over a glass of Burton ale and a slice of hung
beef.

Astley's Amphitheatre recalls to us many amusing stories of that old
soldier, Ducrow, and of his friends and rivals, which join on very
naturally to those other theatrical traditions to which Drury Lane and
Covent Garden have already led us.

So we mean to roam from flower to flower, over as varied a garden as the
imagination can well conceive. There have been brave workers before us
in the field, and we shall build upon good foundations. We hope to be
catholic in our selections; we shall prune away only the superfluous; we
shall condense anecdotes only where we think we can make them pithier
and racier. We will neglect no fact that is interesting, and blend
together all that old Time can give us bearing upon London. Street by
street we shall delve and rake for illustrative story, despising no
book, however humble, no pamphlet, however obscure, if it only throws
some light on the celebrities of London, its topographical history, its
manners and customs. Such is a brief summary of our plan.

St. Paul's rises before us with its great black dome and stately row of
sable columns; the Tower, with its central citadel, flanked by the
spear-like masts of the river shipping; the great world of roofs spreads
below us as we launch upon our venturous voyage of discovery. From
Boadicea leading on her scythed chariots at Battle Bridge to Queen
Victoria in the Thanksgiving procession of yesterday is a long period
over which to range. We have whole generations of Londoners to defile
before us--painted Britons, hooded Saxons, mailed Crusaders, Chaucer's
men in hoods, friars, citizens, warriors, Shakespeare's friends,
Johnson's companions, Goldsmith's jovial "Bohemians," Hogarth's
fellow-painters, soldiers, lawyers, statesmen, merchants. Nevertheless,
at our spells they will gather from the four winds, and at our command
march off to their old billets in their old houses, where we may best
cross-examine them and collect their impressions of the life of their
times.

The subject is as entertaining as any dream Imagination ever evoked and
as varied as human nature. Its classification is a certain bond of
union, and will act as an excellent cement for the multiform stones with
which we shall rear our building. Lists of names, dry pedigrees, rows of
dates, we leave to the herald and the topographer; but we shall pass by
little that can throw light on the history of London in any generation,
and we shall dwell more especially on the events of the later centuries,
because they are more akin to us and are bound to us by closer
sympathies.




CHAPTER I.

ROMAN LONDON.

    Buried London--Our Early Relations--The Founder of London--A
    distinguished Visitor at Romney Marsh--Cæsar re-visits the "Town on the
    Lake"--The Borders of Old London--Cæsar fails to make much out of the
    Britons--King _Brown_--The Derivation of the name of London--The Queen
    of the Iceni--London Stone and London Roads--London's Earlier and Newer
    Walls--The Site of St. Paul's--Fabulous Claims to Idolatrous
    Renown--Existing Relics of Roman London--Treasures from the Bed of the
    Thames--What we Tread underfoot in London--A vast Field of Story.


Eighteen feet below the level of Cheapside lies hidden Roman London, and
deeper even than that is buried the earlier London of those savage
charioteers who, long ages ago, bravely confronted the legions of Rome.
In nearly all parts of the City there have been discovered tesselated
pavements, Roman tombs, lamps, vases, sandals, keys, ornaments, weapons,
coins, and statues of the ancient Roman gods. So the present has grown
up upon the ashes of the past.

Trees that are to live long grow slowly. Slow and stately as an oak
London grew and grew, till now nearly four million souls represent its
leaves. Our London is very old. Centuries before Christ there probably
came the first few half-naked fishermen and hunters, who reared, with
flint axes and such rude tools, some miserable huts on the rising ground
that, forming the north bank of the Thames, slopes to the river some
sixty miles from where it joins the sea. According to some, the river
spread out like a vast lake between the Surrey and the Essex hills in
those times when the half-savage first settlers found the low slopes of
the future London places of health and defence amid a vast and dismal
region of fen, swamp, and forest. The heroism and the cruelties, the
hopes and fears of those poor barbarians, darkness never to be removed
has hidden from us for ever. In later days monkish historians, whom
Milton afterwards followed, ignored these poor early relations of ours
and invented, as a more fitting ancestor of Englishmen, Brute, a
fugitive nephew of Æneas of Troy. But, stroll on where we will, the
pertinacious savage, with his limbs stained blue and his flint axe red
with blood, is a ghost not easily to be exorcised from the banks of the
Thames, and in some Welsh veins his blood no doubt flows at this very
day. The founder of London had no historian to record his hopes--a place
where big salmon were to be found, and plenty of wild boars were to be
met with, was probably his highest ambition. How he bartered with
Phoenicians or Gauls for amber or iron no Druid has recorded. How he
slew the foraging Belgæ, or was slain by them and dispossessed, no bard
has sung. Whether he was generous and heroic as the New Zealander, or
apelike and thievish as the Bushman, no ethnologist has yet proved. The
very ashes of the founder of London have long since turned to earth,
air, and water.

No doubt the few huts that formed early London were fought for over and
over again, as wolves wrangle round a carcass. On Cornhill there
probably dwelt petty kings who warred with the kings of Ludgate; and in
Southwark there lurked or burrowed other chiefs who, perhaps by intrigue
or force, struggled for centuries to get a foothold in Thames Street.
But of such infusoria History (glorying only in offenders, criminals,
and robbers on the largest scale) justly pays no heed. This alone we
know, that the early rulers of London before the Christian era passed
away like the wild beasts they fought and slew, and their very names
have perished. One line of an old blind Greek poet might have
immortalised them among the motley nations that crowded into Troy or
swarmed under its walls; but, alas for them, that line was never
written! No, Founder of London! thy name was written on fluid ooze of
the marsh, and the first tide that washed over it from the Nore
obliterated it for ever. Yet, perhaps even now thou sleepest as quietly
fathoms deep in soft mud, in some still nook of Barking Creek, as if all
the world was ringing with thy glory.

But descending quick to the lower but safer and firmer ground of fact,
let us cautiously drive our first pile into the shaky morass of early
London history.

A learned modern antiquary, Thomas Lewin, Esq., has proved, as nearly as
such things can be proved, that Julius Cæsar and 8,000 men, who had
sailed from Boulogne, landed near Romney Marsh about half-past five
o'clock on Sunday the 27th of August, 55 years before the birth of our
Saviour. Centuries before that very remarkable August day on which the
brave standard-bearer of Cæsar's Tenth Legion sprang from his gilt
galley into the sea and, eagle in hand, advanced against the javelins of
the painted Britons who lined the shore, there is now no doubt London
was already existing as a British town of some importance, and known to
the fishermen and merchants of the Gauls and Belgians. Strabo, a Greek
geographer who flourished in the reign of Augustus, speaks of British
merchants as bringing to the Seine and the Rhine shiploads of corn,
cattle, iron, hides, slaves, and dogs, and taking back brass, ivory,
amber ornaments, and vessels of glass. By these merchants the
desirability of such a depôt as London, with its great and always
navigable river, could not have been long overlooked.

[Illustration: ANCIENT ROMAN PAVEMENT FOUND IN THREADNEEDLE STREET, 1841
(_see page 21_).]

In Cæsar's second and longer invasion in the next year (54 B.C.), when
his 28 many-oared triremes and 560 transports, &c., in all 800, poured
on the same Kentish coast 21,000 legionaries and 2,000 cavalry, there is
little doubt that his strong foot left its imprint near that cluster of
stockaded huts (more resembling a New Zealand pah than a modern English
town) perhaps already called London--Llyn-don, the "town on the lake."
After a battle at Challock Wood, Cæsar and his men crossed the Thames,
as is supposed, at Coway Stakes, an ancient ford a little above Walton
and below Weybridge. Cassivellaunus, King of Hertfordshire and
Middlesex, had just slain in war Immanuent, King of Essex, and had
driven out his son Mandubert. The Trinobantes, Mandubert's subjects,
joined the Roman spearmen against the 4,000 scythed chariots of
Cassivellaunus and the Catyeuchlani. Straight as the flight of an arrow
was Cæsar's march upon the capital of Cassivellaunus, a city the
barbaric name of which he either forgot or disregarded, but which he
merely says was "protected by woods and marshes." This place north of
the Thames has usually been thought to be Verulamium (St. Alban's); but
it was far more likely London, as the Cassi, whose capital Verulamium
was, were among the traitorous tribes who joined Cæsar against their
oppressor Cassivellaunus. Moreover, Cæsar's brief description of the
spot perfectly applies to Roman London, for ages protected on the north
by a vast forest, full of deer and wild boars, and which, even as late
as the reign of Henry II., covered a great region, and has now shrunk
into the not very wild districts of St. John's Wood and Caen Wood. On
the north the town found a natural moat in the broad fens of Moorfields,
Finsbury, and Houndsditch, while on the south ran the Fleet and the Old
Bourne. Indeed, according to that credulous old enthusiast Stukeley,
Cæsar, marching from Staines to London, encamped on the site of Old St.
Pancras Church, round which edifice Stukeley found evident traces of a
great Prætorian camp. However, whether Cassivellaunus, the King of
Middlesex and Hertfordshire, had his capital at London or St. Alban's,
this much at least is certain, that the legionaries carried their
eagles swiftly over his stockades of earth and fallen trees, drove off
the blue-stained warriors, and swept off the half-wild cattle stored up
by the Britons. Shortly after, Cæsar returned to Gaul, having heard
while in Britain of the death of his favourite daughter Julia, the wife
of Pompey, his great rival. His camp at Richborough or Sandwich was far
distant, the dreaded equinoctial gales were at hand, and Gaul, he knew,
might at any moment of his absence start into a flame. His inglorious
campaign had lasted just four months and a half--his first had been far
shorter. As Cæsar himself wrote to Cicero, our rude island was defended
by stupendous rocks, there was not a scrap of the gold that had been
reported, and the only prospect of booty was in slaves, from whom there
could be expected neither "skill in letters nor in music." In sober
truth, all Cæsar had won from the people of Kent and Hertfordshire had
been blows and buffets, for there were _men_ in Britain even then. The
prowess of the British charioteers became a standing joke in Rome
against the soldiers of Cæsar. Horace and Tibullus both speak of the
Briton as unconquered. The steel bow the strong Roman hand had for a
moment bent, quickly relapsed to its old shape the moment Cæsar,
mounting his tall galley, turned his eyes towards Gaul.

[Illustration: PART OF OLD LONDON WALL, NEAR FALCON SQUARE (_see page
21_).]

The Mandubert who sought Cæsar's help is by some thought to be the son
of the semi-fabulous King Lud (King _Brown_), the mythical founder of
London, and, according to Milton, who, as we have said, follows the old
historians, a descendant of Brute of Troy. The successor of the warlike
Cassivellaunus had his capital at St. Alban's; his son Cunobelin
(Shakespeare's Cymbeline)--a name which seems to glow with perpetual
sunshine as we write it--had a palace at Colchester; and the son of
Cunobelin was the famed Caradoc, or Caractacus, that hero of the
Silures, who struggled bravely for nine long years against the generals
of Rome.

Celtic etymologists differ, as etymologists usually do, about the
derivation of the name of London. Lon, or Long, meant, they say, either
a lake, a wood, a populous place, a plain, or a ship-town. This last
conjecture is, however, now the most generally received, as it at once
gives the modern pronunciation, to which Llyn-don would never have
assimilated. The first British town was indeed a simple Celtic hill
fortress, formed first on Tower Hill, and afterwards continued to
Cornhill and Ludgate. It was moated on the south by the river, which it
controlled; by fens on the north; and on the east by the marshy low
ground of Wapping. It was a high, dry, and fortified point of
communication between the river and the inland country of Essex and
Hertfordshire, a safe sixty miles from the sea, and central as a depôt
and meeting-place for the tribes of Kent and Middlesex.

Hitherto the London about which we have been conjecturing has been a
mere cloud city. The first mention of real London is by Tacitus, who,
writing in the reign of Nero (A.D. 62, more than a century after the
landing of Cæsar), in that style of his so full of vigour and so sharp
in outline, that it seems fit rather to be engraved on steel than
written on perishable paper, says that Londinium, though not, indeed,
dignified with the name of colony, was a place highly celebrated for the
number of its merchants and the confluence of traffic. In the year 62
London was probably still without walls, and its inhabitants were not
Roman citizens, like those of Verulamium (St. Alban's). When the
Britons, roused by the wrongs of the fierce Boadicea (Queen of the
Iceni, the people of Norfolk and Suffolk), bore down on London, her back
still "bleeding from the Roman rods," she slew in London and Verulamium
alone 70,000 citizens and allies of Rome; impaling many beautiful and
well-born women, amid revelling sacrifices, in the grove of Andate, the
British Goddess of Victory. It is supposed that after this reckless
slaughter the tigress and her savage followers burned the cluster of
wooden houses that then formed London to the ground. Certain it is, that
when deep sections were made for a sewer in Lombard Street in 1786, the
lowest stratum consisted of tesselated Roman pavements, their coloured
dice laying scattered like flower leaves, and above that of a thick
layer of wood ashes, as of the _débris_ of charred wooden buildings.
This ruin the Romans avenged by the slaughter of 80,000 Britons in a
butchering fight, generally believed to have taken place at King's Cross
(otherwise Battle Bridge), after which the fugitive Boadicea, in rage
and despair, took poison and perished.

London probably soon sprang, phoenix-like, from the fire, though history
leaves it in darkness to enjoy a lull of 200 years. In the early part of
the second century Ptolemy, the geographer, speaks of it as a city of
the Kentish people; but Mr. Craik very ingeniously conjectures that the
Greek writer took his information from Phoenician works descriptive of
Britain, written before even the invasion of Cæsar. Theodosius, a
general of the Emperor Valentinian, who saved London from gathered
hordes of Scots, Picts, Franks, and Saxons, is supposed to have repaired
the walls of London, which had been first built by the Emperor
Constantine early in the fourth century. In the reign of Theodosius,
London, now called Augusta, became one of the chief, if not the chief,
of the seventy Roman cities in Britain. In the famous "Itinerary" of
Antoninus (about the end of the third century) London stands as the goal
or starting-point of seven out of the fifteen great central Roman roads
in England. Camden considers the London Stone, now enshrined in the
south wall of St. Swithin's Church, Cannon Street, to have been the
central milestone of Roman England, from which all the chief roads
radiated, and by which the distances were reckoned. Wren supposed that
Watling Street, of which Cannon Street is a part, was the High Street of
Roman London. Another street ran west along Holborn from Cheapside, and
from Cheapside probably north. A northern road ran by Aldgate, and
probably Bishopsgate. The road from Dover came either over a bridge near
the site of the present London Bridge, or higher up at Dowgate, from
Stoney Street on the Surrey side.

Early Roman London was scarcely larger than Hyde Park. Mr. Roach Smith,
the best of all authorities on the subject, gives its length from the
Tower to Ludgate, east and west, at about a mile; and north and south,
that is from London Wall to the Thames, at about half a mile. The
earliest Roman city was even smaller, for Roman sepulchres have been
found in Bow Lane, Moorgate Street, Bishopsgate Within, which must at
that time have been beyond the walls. The Roman cemeteries of
Smithfield, St. Paul's, Whitechapel, the Minories, and Spitalfields, are
of later dates, and are in all cases beyond the old line of
circumvallation, according to the sound Roman custom fixed by law. The
earlier London Mr. Roach Smith describes as an irregular space, the five
main gates corresponding with Bridgegate, Ludgate, Bishopsgate,
Aldersgate, and Aldgate. The north wall followed for some part the
course of Cornhill and Leadenhall Street; the eastern Billiter Street
and Mark Lane; the southern Thames Street; and the western the east side
of Walbrook. Of the larger Roman wall, there were within the memory of
man huge, shapeless masses, with trees growing upon them, opposite what
is now Finsbury Circus. In 1852 a piece of Roman wall on Tower Hill was
rescued from the improvers, and built into some stables and outhouses;
but not before a careful sketch had been effected by the late Mr.
Fairholt, one of the best of our antiquarian draughtsmen. The later
Roman London was in general outline the same in shape and size as the
London of the Saxons and Normans. The newer walls Pennant calculates at
3 miles 165 feet in circumference, they were 22 feet high, and guarded
with forty lofty towers. At the end of the last century large portions
of the old Roman wall were traceable in many places, but time has
devoured almost the last morsels of that great _pièce de résistance_. In
1763 Mr. Gough made a drawing of a square Roman tower (one of three)
then standing in Houndsditch. It was built in alternate layers of
massive square stones and red tiles. The old loophole for the sentinel
had been enlarged into a square latticed window. In 1857, while digging
foundations for houses on the north-east side of Aldermanbury Postern,
the workmen came on a portion of the Roman wall strengthened by blind
arches. All that now substantially remains of the old fortification is a
bastion in St. Giles's Church, Cripplegate; a fragment in St. Martin's
Court, off Ludgate Hill; another portion exists in the Old Bailey,
concealed behind houses; and a fourth, near George Street, Tower Hill.
Portions of the wall have, however, been also broached in Falcon Square
(one of which we have engraved), Bush Lane, Scott's Yard, and Cornhill,
and others built in cellars and warehouses from opposite the Tower and
Cripplegate.

The line of the Roman walls ran from the Tower straight to Aldgate;
there making an angle, it continued to Bishopsgate. From there it turned
eastward to St. Giles's Churchyard, where it veered south to Falcon
Square. At this point it continued west to Aldersgate, running under
Christ's Hospital, and onward to Giltspur Street. There forming an
angle, it proceeded directly to Ludgate towards the Thames, passing to
the south of St. Andrew's Church. The wall then crossed Addle Street,
and took a course along Upper and Lower Thames Street towards the Tower.
In Thames Street the wall has been found built on oaken piles; on these
was laid a stratum of chalk and stones, and over this a course of large,
hewn sandstones, cemented with quicklime, sand, and pounded tile. The
body of the wall was constructed of ragstone, flint, and lime, bonded at
intervals with courses of plain and curve-edged tiles.

That Roman London grew slowly there is abundant proof. In building the
new Exchange, the workmen came on a gravel-pit full of oyster-shells,
cattle bones, old sandals, and shattered pottery. No coin found there
being later than Severus indicates that this ground was bare waste
outside the original city until at least the latter part of the third
century. How far Roman London eventually spread its advancing waves of
houses may be seen from the fact that Roman wall-paintings, indicating
villas of men of wealth and position, have been found on both sides of
High Street, Southwark, almost up to St. George's Church; while one of
the outlying Roman cemeteries bordered the Kent Road.

From the horns of cattle having been dug up in St. Paul's Churchyard,
the monks, ever eager to discover traces of that Paganism with which
they amalgamated Christianity, conjectured that a temple of Diana once
stood on the site of St. Paul's. A stone altar, with a rude figure of
the amazon goddess sculptured upon it, was indeed discovered in making
the foundations for Goldsmiths' Hall, Cheapside; but this was a mere
votive or private altar, and proves nothing; and the ox bones, if any,
found at St. Paul's, were merely refuse thrown into a rubbish-heap
outside the old walls. As to the Temple of Apollo, supposed to have been
replaced by Westminster Abbey, that is merely an invention of rival
monks to glorify Thorney Island, and to render its antiquity equal to
the fabulous claims of St. Paul's. Nor is there any positive proof that
shrines to British gods ever stood on either place, though that they may
have done so is not at all improbable.

The existing relics of Roman London are far more valuable and more
numerous than is generally supposed. Innumerable tesselated pavements,
masterpieces of artistic industry and taste, have been found in the
City. A few of these should be noted. In 1854 part of the pavement of a
room, twenty-eight feet square, was discovered, when the Excise Office
was pulled down, between Bishopsgate Street and Broad Street. The
central subject was supposed to be the Rape of Europa. A few years
before another pavement was met with near the same spot. In 1841 two
pavements were dug up under the French Protestant Church in Threadneedle
Street. The best of these we have engraved. In 1792 a circular pavement
was found in the same locality; and there has also been dug up in the
same street a curious female head, the size of life, formed of coloured
stones and glass. In 1805 a beautiful Roman pavement was disinterred on
the south-west angle of the Bank of England, near the gate opening into
Lothbury, and is now in the British Museum. In 1803 a fine specimen of
pavement was found in front of the East-India House, Leadenhall Street,
the central design being Bacchus reclining on a panther. In this
pavement twenty distinct tints had been successfully used. Other
pavements have been cut through in Crosby Square, Bartholemew Lane,
Fenchurch Street, and College Street. The soil, according to Mr. Roach
Smith, seems to have risen over them at the rate of nearly a foot a
century.

The statuary found in London should also not be forgotten. One of the
most remarkable pieces was a colossal bronze head of the Emperor
Hadrian, dredged up from the Thames a little below London Bridge. It is
now in the British Museum. A colossal bronze hand, thirteen inches long,
was also found in Thames Street, near the Tower. In 1857, near London
Bridge, the dredgers found a beautiful bronze Apollino, a Mercury of
exquisite design, a priest of Cybele, and a figure supposed to be
Jupiter. The Apollino and Mercury are masterpieces of ideal beauty and
grace. In 1842 a _chef d'oeuvre_ was dug out near the old Roman wall in
Queen Street, Cheapside. It was the bronze stooping figure of an archer.
It has silver eyes; and the perfect expression and anatomy display the
highest art.

In 1825 a graceful little silver figure of the child Harpocrates, the
God of Silence, looped with a gold chain, was found in the Thames, and
is now in the British Museum. In 1839 a pair of gold armlets were dug up
in Queen Street, Cheapside. In a kiln in St. Paul's Churchyard, in 1677,
there were found lamps, bottles, urns, and dishes. Among other relics of
Roman London drifted down by time we may instance articles of red glazed
pottery, tiles, glass cups, window glass, bath scrapers, gold hairpins,
enamelled clasps, sandals, writing tablets, bronze spoons, forks,
distaffs, bells, dice, and millstones. As for coins, which the Romans
seem to have hid in every conceivable nook, Mr. Roach Smith says that
within twenty years upwards of 2,000 were, to his own knowledge, found
in London, chiefly in the bed of the Thames. Only one Greek coin, as far
as we know, has ever been met with in London excavations.

The Romans left deep footprints wherever they trod. Many of our London
streets still follow the lines they first laid down. The river bank
still heaves beneath the ruins of their palaces. London Stone, as we
have already shown, still stands to mark the starting-point of the great
roads that they designed. In a lane out of the Strand there still exists
a bath where their sinewy youth laved their limbs, dusty from the
chariot races at the Campus Martius at Finsbury. The pavements trodden
by the feet of Hadrian and Constantine still lie buried under the
restless wheels that roll over our City streets. The ramparts the
legionaries guarded have not yet quite crumbled to dust, though the rude
people they conquered have themselves long since grown into conquerors.
Roman London now exists only in fragments, invisible save to the prying
antiquary. As the seed is to be found hanging to the root of the ripe
wheat, so some filaments of the first germ of London, of the British hut
and the Roman villa, still exist hidden under the foundations of the
busy city that now teems with thousands of inhabitants. We tread under
foot daily the pride of our old oppressors.




CHAPTER II.

TEMPLE BAR.

    Temple Bar--The Golgotha of English Traitors--When Temple Bar was
    made of Wood--Historical Pageants at Temple Bar--The Associations of
    Temple Bar--Mischievous Processions through Temple Bar--The First
    grim Trophy--Rye-House Plot Conspirators.


Temple Bar was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren, in 1670-72, soon after
the Great Fire had swept away eighty-nine London churches, four out of
the seven City gates, 460 streets, and 13,200 houses, and had destroyed
fifteen of the twenty-six wards, and laid waste 436 acres of buildings,
from the Tower eastward to the Inner Temple westward.

The old black gateway, once the dreaded Golgotha of English traitors,
separates, it should be remembered, the Strand from Fleet Street, the
city from the shire, and the Freedom of the City of London from the
Liberty of the City of Westminster. As Hatton (1708--Queen Anne)
says,--"This gate opens not immediately into the City itself, but into
the Liberty or Freedom thereof." We need hardly say that nothing can be
more erroneous than the ordinary London supposition that Temple Bar ever
formed part of the City fortifications. Mr. Gilbert à Beckett, laughing
at this tradition, once said in _Punch_: "Temple Bar has always seemed
to me a weak point in the fortifications of London. Bless you, the
besieging army would never stay to bombard it--they would dash through
the barber's."

The Great Fire never reached nearer Temple Bar than the Inner Temple, on
the south side of Fleet Street, and St. Dunstan's Church, on the north.

The Bar is of Portland stone, which London smoke alternately blackens
and calcines; and each façade has four Corinthian pilasters, an
entablature, and an arched pediment. On the west (Strand) side, in two
niches, stand, as eternal sentries, Charles I. and Charles II., in Roman
costume. Charles I. has long ago lost his bâton, as he once deliberately
lost his head. Over the keystone of the central arch there used to be
the royal arms. On the east side are James I. and Elizabeth (by many
able writers supposed to be Anne of Denmark, James I.'s queen). She is
pointing her white finger at Child's; while he, looking down on the
passing cabs, seems to say, "I am nearly tired of standing; suppose we
go to Whitehall, and sit down a bit?"

The slab over the eastern side of the arch bears the following
inscription, now all but smoothed down by time:--

    "Erected in the year 1670, Sir Samuel Starling, Mayor; continued in
    the year 1671, Sir Richard Ford, Lord Mayor; and finished in the
    year, 1672, Sir George Waterman, Lord Mayor."

All these persons were friends of Pepys.

The upper part of the Bar is flanked by scrolls, but the fruit and
flowers once sculptured on the pediment, and the supporters of the royal
arms over the posterns, have crumbled away. In the centre of each façade
is a semicircular-headed, ecclesiastical-looking window, that casts a
dim horny light into a room above the gate, held of the City, at an
annual rent of some £50, by Messrs. Childs, the bankers, as a sort of
muniment-room for their old account-books. There is here preserved,
among other costlier treasures of Mammon, the private account-book of
Charles II. The original Child was a friend of Pepys, and is mentioned
by him as quarrelling with the Duke of York on Admiralty matters. The
Child who succeeded him was a friend of Pope, and all but led him into
the South-Sea Bubble speculation.

Those affected, mean statues, with the crinkly drapery, were the work of
a vain, half-crazed sculptor named John Bushnell, who died mad in 1701.
Bushnell, who had visited Rome and Venice, executed Cowley's monument in
Westminster Abbey, and the statues of Charles I., Charles II., and
Gresham, in the Old Exchange.

There is no extant historical account of Temple Bar in which the
following passage from Strype (George I.) is not to be found embedded
like a fossil; it is, in fact, nearly all we London topographers know of
the early history of the Bar:--"Anciently," says Strype, "there were
only posts, rails, and a chain, such as are now in Holborn, Smithfield,
and Whitechapel bars. Afterwards there was a house of timber erected
across the street, with a narrow gateway and an entry on the south side
of it under the house." This structure is to be seen in the bird's-eye
view of London, 1601 (Elizabeth), and in Hollar's seven-sheet map of
London (Charles II.)

The date of the erection of the "wooden house" is not to be ascertained;
but there is the house plain enough in a view of London to which
Maitland affixes the date about 1560 (the second year of Elizabeth), so
we may perhaps safely put it down as early as Edward VI. or Henry VIII.
Indeed, if a certain scrap of history is correct--_i.e._, that bluff
King Hal once threatened, if a certain Bill did not pass the Commons a
little quicker, to fix the heads of several refractory M.P.s on the top
of Temple Bar--we must suppose the old City toll-gate to be as old as
the early Tudors.

After Simon de Montfort's death, at the battle of Evesham, 1265, Prince
Edward, afterwards Edward I., punished the rebellious Londoners, who had
befriended Montfort, by taking away all their street chains and bars,
and locking them up in the Tower.

The earliest known documentary and historical notice of Temple Bar is in
1327, the first year of Edward III.; and in the thirty-fourth year of
the same reign we find, at an inquisition before the mayor, twelve
witnesses deposing that the commonalty of the City had, time out of
mind, had free ingress and egress from the City to Thames and from
Thames to the City, through the great gate of the Templars situate
within Temple Bar. This referred to some dispute about the right of way
through the Temple, built in the reign of Henry I. In 1384 Richard II.
granted a licence for paving Strand Street from Temple Bar to the Savoy,
and collecting tolls to cover such charges.

[Illustration: PROCLAMATION OF CHARLES II. AT TEMPLE BAR (_see page
26_).]

The historical pageants that have taken place at Temple Bar deserve a
notice, however short. On the 5th of November, 1422, the corpse of that
brave and chivalrous king, the hero of Agincourt, Henry V., was borne to
its rest at Westminster Abbey by the chief citizens and nobles, and
every doorway from Southwark to Temple Bar had its mournful
torch-bearer. In 1502-3 the hearse of Elizabeth of York, queen of Henry
VII., halted at Temple Bar, on its way from the Tower to Westminster,
and at the Bar the Abbots of Westminster and Bermondsey blessed the
corpse, and the Earl of Derby and a large company of nobles joined the
sable funeral throng. After sorrow came joy, and after joy sorrow--_Ita
vita_. In the next reign poor Anne Boleyn, radiant with happiness and
triumph, came through the Bar (May 31, 1534), on her way to the Tower,
to be welcomed by the clamorous citizens, the day before her ill-starred
coronation. Temple Bar on that occasion was new painted and repaired,
and near it stood singing men and children--the Fleet Street conduit all
the time running claret. The old gate figures more conspicuously the day
before the coronation of that wondrous child, Edward VI. Two hogsheads
of wine were then ladled out to the thirsty mob, and the gate at Temple
Bar was painted with battlements and buttresses, richly hung with cloth
of Arras, and all in a flutter with "fourteen standard flags." There
were eight French trumpeters blowing their best, besides "a pair of
regals," with children singing to the same. In September, 1553, when
Edward's cold-hearted half-sister, Mary Tudor, came through the City,
according to ancient English custom, the day before her coronation,
she did not ride on horseback, as Edward had done, but sat in a chariot
covered with cloth of tissue and drawn by six horses draped with the
same. Minstrels piped and trumpeted at Ludgate, and Temple Bar was newly
painted and hung.

[Illustration: PENANCE OF THE DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER (_see page 32_).]

Old Temple Bar, the background to many historical scenes, figures in the
rash rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt. When he had fought his way down
Piccadilly to the Strand, Temple Bar was thrown open to him, or forced
open by him; but when he had been repulsed at Ludgate he was hemmed in
by cavalry at Temple Bar, where he surrendered. This foolish revolt led
to the death of innocent Lady Jane Grey, and brought sixty brave
gentlemen to the scaffold and the gallows.

On Elizabeth's procession from the Tower before her coronation, January,
1559, Gogmagog the Albion, and Corineus the Briton, the two Guildhall
giants, stood on the Bar; and on the south side there were chorister
lads, one of whom, richly attired as a page, bade the queen farewell in
the name of the whole City. In 1588, the glorious year that the Armada
was defeated, Elizabeth passed through the Bar on her way to return
thanks to God solemnly at St. Paul's. The City waits stood in triumph
on the roof of the gate. The Lord Mayor and Aldermen, in scarlet gowns,
welcomed the queen and delivered up the City sword, then on her return
they took horse and rode before her. The City Companies lined the north
side of the street, the lawyers and gentlemen of the Inns of Court the
south. Among the latter stood a person afterwards not altogether
unknown, one Francis Bacon, who displayed his wit by saying to a friend,
"Mark the courtiers! Those who bow first to the citizens are in debt;
those who bow first to us are at law!"

In 1601, when the Earl of Essex made his insane attempt to rouse the
City to rebellion, Temple Bar, we are told, was thrown open to him; but
Ludgate being closed against him on his retreat from Cheapside, he came
back by boat to Essex House, where he surrendered after a short and
useless resistance.

King James made his first public entry into his royal City of London,
with his consort and son Henry, upon the 15th of March, 1603-4. The king
was mounted upon a white genet, ambling through the crowded streets
under a canopy held by eight gentlemen of the Privy Chamber, as
representatives of the Barons of the Cinque Ports, and passed under six
arches of triumph, to take his leave at the Temple of Janus, erected for
the occasion at Temple Bar. This edifice was fifty-seven feet high,
proportioned in every respect like a temple.

In June, 1649 (the year of the execution of Charles), Cromwell and the
Parliament dined at Guildhall in state, and the mayor, says Whitelocke,
delivered up the sword to the Speaker, at Temple Bar, as he had before
done to King Charles.

Philips, Milton's nephew, who wrote the continuation of Baker's
Chronicle, describes the ceremony at Temple Bar on the proclamation of
Charles II. The old oak gates being shut, the king-at-arms, with tabard
on and trumpet before him, knocked and gravely demanded entrance. The
Lord Mayor appointed some one to ask who knocked. The king-at-arms
replied, that if they would open the wicket, and let the Lord Mayor come
thither, he would to him deliver his message. The Lord Mayor then
appeared, tremendous in crimson velvet gown, and on horseback, of all
things in the world, the trumpets sounding as the gallant knight pricked
forth to demand of the herald, who he was and what was his message. The
bold herald, with his hat on, answered, regardless of Lindley Murray,
who was yet unknown, "We are the herald-at-arms appointed and commanded
by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, and demand an entrance
into the famous City of London, to proclaim Charles II. King of England,
Scotland, France, and Ireland, and we expect your speedy answer to our
demand." An alderman then replied, "The message is accepted," and the
gates were thrown open.

When William III. came to see the City and the Lord Mayor's Show in
1689, the City militia, holding lighted flambeaux, lined Fleet Street as
far as Temple Bar.

The shadow of every monarch and popular hero since Charles II.'s time
has rested for at least a passing moment at the old gateway. Queen Anne
passed here to return thanks at St. Paul's for the victory of Blenheim.
Here Marlborough's coach ominously broke down in 1714, when he returned
in triumph from his voluntary exile.

George III. passed through Temple Bar, young and happy, the year after
his coronation, and again when, old and almost broken-hearted, he
returned thanks for his partial recovery from insanity; and in our time
that graceless son of his, the Prince Regent, came through the Bar in
1814, to thank God at St. Paul's for the downfall of Bonaparte.

On the 9th November, 1837, the accession of Queen Victoria, Alderman
Kelly, picturesque in scarlet gown, Spanish hat, and black feathers,
presented the City sword to the Queen at Temple Bar; Alderman Cowan was
ready with the same weapon in 1844, when the Queen opened the new Royal
Exchange; but in 1851, when her Majesty once more visited the City, the
old ceremony was (wrongly, we think) dispensed with.

At the funeral of Lord Nelson, the honoured corpse, followed by downcast
old sailors, was met at the Bar by the Lord Mayor and the Corporation;
and the Great Duke's funeral car, and the long train of representative
soldiers, rested at the Bar, which was hung with black velvet.

A few earlier associations connected with the present Bar deserve a
moment or two's recollection. On February 12th, when General
Monk--"Honest George," as his old Cromwellian soldiers used to call
him--entered London, dislodged the "Rump" Parliament, and prepared for
the Restoration of Charles II., bonfires were lit, the City bells rung,
and London broke into a sudden flame of joy. Pepys, walking homeward
about ten o'clock, says:--"The common joy was everywhere to be seen. The
number of bonfires--there being fourteen between St. Dunstan's and
Temple Bar, and at Strand Bridge, east of Catherine Street, I could at
one time tell thirty-one fires."

On November 17, 1679, the year after the sham Popish Plot concocted by
those matchless scoundrels, Titus Oates, an expelled naval chaplain, and
Bedloe, a swindler and thief, Temple Bar was made the spot for a great
mob pilgrimage, on the anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth.
The ceremonial is supposed to have been organised by that restless
plotter against a Popish succession, Lord Shaftesbury, and the gentlemen
of the Green Ribbon Club, whose tavern, the "King's Head," was at the
corner of Chancery Lane, opposite the Inner Temple gate. To scare and
vex the Papists, the church bells began to clash out as early as three
o'clock on the morning of that dangerous day. At dusk the procession of
several thousand half-crazed torch-bearers started from Moorgate, along
Bishopsgate Street, and down Houndsditch and Aldgate (passing
Shaftesbury's house imagine the roar of the monster mob, the wave of
torches, and the fiery fountains of squibs at that point!), then through
Leadenhall Street and Cornhill, by the Royal Exchange, along Cheapside
and on to Temple Bar, where the bonfire awaited the puppets. In a
torrent of fire the noisy Protestants passed through the exulting City,
making the Papists cower and shudder in their garrets and cellars, and
before the flaming deluge opened a storm of shouting people. This
procession consisted of fifteen groups of priests, Jesuits, and friars,
two following a man on a horse, holding up before him a dummy, dressed
to represent Sir Edmondbury Godfrey, a Protestant justice and wood
merchant, supposed to have been murdered by Roman Catholics at Somerset
House. It was attended by a body-guard of 150 swordbearers and a man
roaring a political cry of the time through a brazen speaking-trumpet.
The great bonfire was built up mountain high opposite the Inner Temple
gate. Some zealous Protestants, by pre-arrangement, had crowned the prim
and meagre statue of Elizabeth (still on the east side of the Bar) with
a wreath of gilt laurel, and placed under her hand (that now points to
Child's Bank) a golden glistening shield, with the motto, "The
Protestant Religion and Magna Charta," inscribed upon it. Several
lighted torches were stuck before her niche. Lastly, amidst a fiery
shower of squibs from every door and window, the Pope and his companions
were toppled into the huge bonfire, with shouts that reached almost to
Charing Cross.

These mischievous processions were continued till the reign of George I.
There was to have been a magnificent one on November 17, 1711, when the
Whigs were dreading the contemplated peace with the French and the
return of Marlborough. But the Tories, declaring that the Kit-Kat Club
was urging the mob to destroy the house of Harley, the Minister, and to
tear him to pieces, seized on the wax figures in Drury Lane, and forbade
the ceremony.

As early as two years after the Restoration, Sir Balthazar Gerbier, a
restless architectural quack and adventurer of those days, wrote a
pamphlet proposing a sumptuous gate at Temple Bar, and the levelling of
the Fleet Valley. After the Great Fire Charles II. himself hurried the
erection of the Bar, and promised money to carry out the work. During
the Great Fire, Temple Bar was one of the stations for constables, 100
firemen, and 30 soldiers.

The Rye-House Plot brought the first trophy to the Golgotha of the Bar,
in 1684, twelve years after its erection. Sir Thomas Armstrong was deep
in the scheme. If the discreditable witnesses examined against Lord
William Russell are to be believed, a plot had been concocted by a few
desperate men to assassinate "the Blackbird and the Goldfinch"--as the
conspirators called the King and the Duke of York--as they were in their
coach on their way from Newmarket to London. This plan seems to have
been the suggestion of Rumbold, a maltster, who lived in a lonely moated
farmhouse, called Rye House, about eighteen miles from London, near the
river Ware, close to a by-road that leads from Bishop Stortford to
Hoddesdon. Charles II. had a violent hatred to Armstrong, who had been
his Gentleman of the Horse, and was supposed to have incited his
illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, to rebellion. Sir Thomas was
hanged at Tyburn. After the body had hung half an hour, the hangman cut
it down, stripped it, lopped off the head, threw the heart into a fire,
and divided the body into four parts. The fore-quarter (after being
boiled in pitch at Newgate) was set on Temple Bar, the head was placed
on Westminster Hall, and the rest of the body was sent to Stafford,
which town Sir Thomas represented in Parliament.

Eleven years after, the heads of two more traitors--this time
conspirators against William III.--joined the relic of Armstrong. Sir
John Friend was a rich brewer at Aldgate. Parkyns was an old
Warwickshire county gentleman. The plotters had several plans. One was
to attack Kensington Palace at night, scale the outer wall, and storm or
fire the building; another was to kill William on a Sunday, as he drove
from Kensington to the chapel at St. James's Palace. The murderers
agreed to assemble near where Apsley House now stands. Just as the royal
coach passed from Hyde Park across to the Green Park, thirty
conspirators agreed to fall on the twenty-five guards, and butcher the
king before he could leap out of his carriage. These two Jacobite
gentlemen died bravely, proclaiming their entire loyalty to King James
and the "Prince of Wales."

The unfortunate gentlemen who took a moody pleasure in drinking "the
squeezing of the rotten Orange" had long passed on their doleful journey
from Newgate to Tyburn before the ghastly procession of the brave and
unlucky men of the rising in 1715 began its mournful march.[1]

Sir Bernard Burke mentions a tradition that the head of the young Earl
of Derwentwater was exposed on Temple Bar in 1716, and that his wife
drove in a cart under the arch while a man hired for the purpose threw
down to her the beloved head from the parapet above. But the story is
entirely untrue, and is only a version of the way in which the head of
Sir Thomas More was removed by his son-in-law and daughter from London
Bridge, where that cruel tyrant Henry VIII. had placed it. Some years
ago, when the Earl of Derwentwater's coffin was found in the family
vault, the head was lying safe with the body. In 1716 there was,
however, a traitor's head spiked on the Bar--that of Colonel John
Oxburgh, the victim of mistaken fidelity to a bad cause. He was a brave
Lancashire gentleman, who had surrendered with his forces at Preston. He
displayed signal courage and resignation in prison, forgetting himself
to comfort others.

The next victim was Mr. Christopher Layer, a young Norfolk man and a
Jacobite barrister, living in Southampton Buildings, Chancery Lane. He
plunged deeply into the Atterbury Plot of 1722, and, with Lords North
and Grey, enlisted men, hired officers, and, taking advantage of the
universal misery caused by the bursting of the South Sea Bubble, planned
a general rising against George I. The scheme was, with four distinct
bodies of Jacobites, to seize the Tower and the Bank, to arrest the king
and the prince, and capture or kill Lord Cadogan, one of the Ministers.
At the trial it was proved that Layer had been over to Rome, and had
seen the Pretender, who, by proxy, had stood godfather to his child.
Troops were to be sent from France; barricades were to be thrown up all
over London. The Jacobites had calculated that the Government had only
14,000 men to meet them--3,000 of these would be wanted to guard London,
3,000 for Scotland, and 2,000 for the garrisons. The original design had
been to take advantage of the king's departure for Hanover, and, in the
words of one of the conspirators, the Jacobites were fully convinced
that "they should walk King George out before Lady-day." Layer was
hanged at Tyburn, and his head fixed upon Temple Bar.

Years after, one stormy night in 1753, the rebel's skull blew down, and
was picked up by a non-juring attorney, named Pierce, who preserved it
as a relic of the Jacobite martyr. It is said that Dr. Richard
Rawlinson, an eminent antiquary, obtained what he thought was Layer's
head, and desired in his will that it should be placed in his right hand
when he was buried. Another version of the story is, that a spurious
skull was foisted upon Rawlinson, who died happy in the possession of
the doubtful treasure. Rawlinson was bantered by Addison for his
pedantry, in one of the _Tatlers_, and was praised by Dr. Johnson for
his learning.

The 1745 rebellion brought the heads of fresh victims to the Bar, and
this was the last triumph of barbarous justice. Colonel Francis
Townley's was the sixth head; Fletcher's (his fellow-officer), the
seventh and last. The Earls of Kilmarnock and Cromarty, Lord Balmerino,
and thirty-seven other rebels (thirty-six of them having been captured
in Carlisle) were tried the same session. Townley was a man of about
fifty-four years of age, nephew of Mr. Townley of Townley Hall, in
Lancashire (the "Townley Marbles" family), who had been tried and
acquitted in 1715, though many of his men were found guilty and
executed. The nephew had gone over to France in 1727, and obtained a
commission from the French king, whom he served for fifteen years, being
at the siege of Philipsburg, and close to the Duke of Berwick when that
general's head was shot off. About 1740, Townley stole over to England
to see his friends and to plot against the Hanover family; and as soon
as the rebels came into England, he met them between Lancaster and
Preston, and came with them to Manchester. At the trial Roger M'Donald,
an officer's servant, deposed to seeing Townley on the retreat from
Derby, and between Lancaster and Preston riding at the head of the
Manchester regiment on a bay horse. He had a white cockade in his hat
and wore a plaid sash.

George Fletcher, who was tried at the same time as Townley, was a rash
young chapman, who managed his widowed mother's provision shop "at
Salford, just over the bridge in Manchester." His mother had begged him
on her knees to keep out of the rebellion, even offering him a thousand
pounds for his own pocket, if he would stay at home. He bought a
captain's commission of Murray, the Pretender's secretary, for fifty
pounds; wore the smart white cockade and a Highland plaid sash lined
with white silk; and headed the very first captain's guard mounted for
the Pretender at Carlisle. A Manchester man deposed to seeing at the
Exchange a sergeant, with a drum, beating up for volunteers for the
Manchester regiment.

Fletcher, Townley, and seven other unfortunate Jacobites were hanged on
Kennington Common. Before the carts drove away, the men flung their
prayer-books, written speeches, and gold-laced hats gaily to the crowd.
Mr. James (Jemmy) Dawson, the hero of Shenstone's touching ballad, was
one of the nine. As soon as they were dead the hangman cut down the
bodies, disembowelled, beheaded, and quartered them, throwing the hearts
into the fire. A monster--a fighting-man of the day, named Buckhorse--is
said to have actually eaten a piece of Townley's flesh, to show his
loyalty. Before the ghastly scene was over, the heart of one unhappy
spectator had already broken. The lady to whom James Dawson was engaged
to be married followed the rebels to the common, and even came near
enough to see, with pallid face, the fire kindling, the axe, the
coffins, and all the other dreadful preparations. She bore up bravely,
until she heard her lover was no more. Then she drew her head back into
the coach, and crying out, "My dear, I follow thee--I follow thee! Lord
God, receive our souls, I pray Thee!" fell on the neck of a companion
and expired. Mr. Dawson had behaved gallantly in prison, saying, "He did
not care if they put a ton weight of iron upon him, it would not daunt
him."

A curious old print of 1746, full of vulgar triumph, reproduces a
"Temple Bar, the City Golgotha," representing the Bar with three heads
on the top of it, spiked on long iron rods. The devil looks down in
ribald triumph from above, and waves a rebel banner, on which, besides
three coffins and a crown, is the motto, "A crown or a grave."
Underneath are written these patriotic but doggrel lines:--

    "Observe the banner which would all enslave,
    Which misled traytors did so proudly wave:
    The devil seems the project to surprise;
    A fiend confused from off the trophy flies.

    While trembling rebels at the fabric gaze,
    And dread their fate with horror and amaze,
    Let Britain's sons the emblematic view,
    And plainly see what is rebellion's due."

The heads of Fletcher and Townley were put on the Bar August 12, 1746.
On August 15th Horace Walpole, writing to a friend, says he had just
been roaming in the City, and "passed under the new heads on Temple Bar,
where people make a trade of letting spy-glasses at a halfpenny a look."
According to Mr. J.T. Smith, an old man living in 1825 remembered the
last heads on Temple Bar being visible through a telescope across the
space between the Bar and Leicester Fields.

Between two and three A.M., on the morning of January 20, 1766, a
mysterious man was arrested by the watch as he was discharging, by the
dim light, musket bullets at the two heads then remaining upon Temple
Bar. On being questioned by the puzzled magistrate, he affected a
disorder in his senses, and craftily declared that the patriotic reason
for his eccentric conduct was his strong attachment to the present
Government, and that he thought it not sufficient that a traitor should
merely suffer death; that this provoked his indignation, and it had been
his constant practice for three nights past to amuse himself in the same
manner. "And it is much to be feared," says the past record of the
event, "that the man is a near relation to one of the unhappy
sufferers." Upon searching this very suspicious marksman, about fifty
musket bullets were found on him, wrapped up in a paper on which was
written the motto, "Eripuit ille vitam."

After this, history leaves the heads of the unhappy Jacobites--those
lips that love had kissed, those cheeks children had patted--to moulder
on in the sun and in the rain, till the last day of March, 1772, when
one of them (Townley or Fletcher) fell. The last stormy gust of March
threw it down, and a short time after a strong wind blew down the other;
and against the sky no more relics remained of a barbarous and
unchristian revenge. In April, 1773, Boswell, whom we all despise and
all like, dined at courtly Mr. Beauclerk's with Dr. Johnson, Lord
Charlemont (Hogarth's friend), Sir Joshua Reynolds, and other members of
the literary club, in Gerrard Street, Soho, it being the awful evening
when Boswell was to be balloted for. The conversation turned on the new
and commendable practice of erecting monuments to great men in St.
Paul's. The Doctor observed: "I remember once being with Goldsmith in
Westminster Abbey. Whilst we stood at Poet's Corner, I said to him,--

    "Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur istis."--OVID.

When we got to Temple Bar he stopped me, and pointing to the heads upon
it, slily whispered,--

    "Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur _istis_."

This anecdote, so full of clever, arch wit, is sufficient to endear the
old gateway to all lovers of Johnson and of Goldsmith.

According to Mr. Timbs, in his "London and Westminster," Mrs. Black, the
wife of the editor of the _Morning Chronicle_, when asked if she
remembered any heads on Temple Bar, used to reply, in her brusque,
hearty way, "_Boys, I recollect the scene well!_ I have seen on that
Temple Bar, about which you ask, two human heads--real heads--traitors'
heads--spiked on iron poles. There were two; I saw one fall (March 31,
1772). Women shrieked as it fell; men, as I have heard, shrieked. One
woman near me fainted. Yes, boys, I recollect seeing human heads upon
Temple Bar."

The cruel-looking spikes were removed early in the present century. The
panelled oak gates have often been renewed, though certainly shutting
them too often never wore them out.

As early as 1790 Alderman Pickett (who built the St. Clement's arch),
with other subversive reformers, tried to pull down Temple Bar. It was
pronounced unworthy of form, of no antiquity, an ambuscade for
pickpockets, and a record of only the dark and crimson pages of history.

A writer in the _Gentleman's Magazine_, in 1813 chronicling the
clearance away of some hovels encroaching upon the building, says: "It
will not be surprising if certain amateurs, busy in improving the
architectural concerns of the City, should at length request of their
brethren to allow the Bar or grand gate of entrance into the City of
London to stand, after they have so repeatedly sought to obtain its
destruction." In 1852 a proposal for its repair and restoration was
defeated in the Common Council; and twelve months later, a number of
bankers, merchants, and traders set their hands to a petition for its
removal altogether, as serving no practical purpose, as it impeded
ventilation and retarded improvements. Since then Mr. Heywood has
proposed to make a circus at Temple Bar, leaving the archway in the
centre; and Mr. W. Burges, the architect, suggested a new arch in
keeping with the new Law Courts opposite.

[Illustration: THE ROOM OVER TEMPLE BAR (_see page 37_).]

It is a singular fact that the "Parentalia," a chronicle of Wren's works
written by Wren's clever son, contains hardly anything about Temple Bar.
According to Mr. Noble, the Wren manuscripts in the British Museum,
Wren's ledger in the Bodleian, and the Record Office documents, are
equally silent; but from a folio at the Guildhall, entitled "Expenses of
Public Buildings after the Great Fire," it would appear that the Bar
cost altogether £1,397 10s.; Bushnell, the sculptor, receiving out of
this sum £480 for his four stone monarchs. The mason was John Marshall,
who carved the pedestal of the statue of Charles I. at Charing Cross and
worked on the Monument in Fish Street Hill. In 1636 Inigo Jones had
designed a new arch, the plan of which still exists. Wren, it is said,
took his design of the Bar from an old temple at Rome.

The old Bar is now a mere piece of useless and disused armour. Once a
protection, then an ornament, it has now become an obstruction--the
too-narrow neck of a large decanter--a bone in the throat of Fleet
Street. Yet still we have a lingering fondness for the old barrier that
we have seen draped in black for a dead hero and glittering with gold in
honour of a young bride. We have shared the sunshine that brightened it
and the gloom that has darkened it, and we feel for it a species of
friendship, in which it mutely shares. To us there seems to be a dignity
in its dirt and pathos in the mud that bespatters its patient old face,
as, like a sturdy fortress, it holds out against all its enemies, and
Charles I. and II., and Elizabeth and James I. keep a bright look-out
day and night for all attacks. Nevertheless, it must go in time, we
fear. Poor old Temple Bar, we shall miss you when you are gone!

[Illustration: TITUS OATES IN THE PILLORY (_see page 33_).]

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Amongst these we must not forget Joseph Sullivan, who was executed
at Tyburn for high treason, for enlisting men in the service of the
Pretender. In the collection of broadsides belonging to the Society of
Antiquaries there is one of great interest, entitled "Perkins against
Perkin, a dialogue between Sir William Perkins and Major Sulliviane, the
two loggerheads upon Temple Bar, concerning the present juncture of
affaires." Date uncertain.




CHAPTER III.

FLEET STREET--GENERAL INTRODUCTION.

    Frays in Fleet Street--Chaucer and the Friar--The Duchess of
    Gloucester doing Penance for Witchcraft--Riots between Law Students
    and Citizens--'Prentice Riots--Oates in the Pillory--Entertainments
    in Fleet Street--Shop Signs--Burning the Boot--Trial of Hardy--Queen
    Caroline's Funeral.


Alas, for the changes of time! The Fleet, that little, quick-flowing
stream, once so bright and clear, is now a sewer! but its name remains
immortalised by the street called after it.

Although, according to a modern antiquary, a Roman amphitheatre once
stood on the site of the Fleet Prison, and Roman citizens were certainly
interred outside Ludgate, we know but little whether Roman buildings
ever stood on the west side of the City gates. Stow, however, describes
a stone pavement supported on piles being found, in 1595, near the Fleet
Street end of Chancery Lane; so that we may presume the soil of the
neighbourhood was originally marshy. The first British settlers there
must probably have been restless spirits, impatient of the high rents
and insufficient room inside the City walls and willing, for economy, to
risk the forays of any Saxon pirates who chose to steal up the river on
a dusky night and sack the outlying cabins of London.

There were certainly rough doings in Fleet Street in the Middle Ages,
for the City chronicles tell us of much blood spilt there and of many
deeds of violence. In 1228 (Henry III.) we find, for instance, one Henry
de Buke slaying a man named Le Ireis, le Tylor, of Fleet Bridge, then
fleeing to the church of St. Mary, Southwark, and there claiming
sanctuary. In 1311 (Edward II.) five of the king's not very respectable
or law-fearing household were arrested in Fleet Street for a burglary;
and though the weak king demanded them (they were perhaps servants of
his Gascon favourite, Piers Gaveston, whom the barons afterwards
killed), the City refused to give them up, and they probably had short
shrive. In the same reign, when the Strand was full of bushes and
thickets, Fleet Street could hardly have been much better. Still, the
shops in Fleet Street were, no doubt, even in Edward II.'s reign, of
importance, for we find, in 1321, a Fleet Street bootmaker supplying the
luxurious king with "six pairs of boots, with tassels of silk and drops
of silver-gilt, the price of each pair being 5s." In Richard II.'s reign
it is especially mentioned that Wat Tyler's fierce Kentish men sacked
the Savoy church, part of the Temple, and destroyed two forges which had
been originally erected on each side of St. Dunstan's church by the
Knight Templars. The Priory of St. John of Jerusalem had paid a rent of
15s. for these forges, which same rent was given for more than a century
after their destruction.

The poet Chaucer is said to have beaten a saucy Franciscan friar in
Fleet Street, and to have been fined 2s. for the offence by the
Honourable Society of the Inner Temple; so Speight had heard from one
who had seen the entry in the records of the Inner Temple.

In King Henry IV.'s reign another crime disturbed Fleet Street. A Fleet
Street goldsmith was murdered by ruffians in the Strand, and his body
thrown under the Temple Stairs.

In 1440 (Henry VI.) a strange procession startled London citizens.
Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester, did penance through Fleet Street
for witchcraft practised against the king. She and certain priests and
necromancers had, it was said, melted a wax figure of young King Henry
before a slow fire, praying that as that figure melted his life might
melt also. Of the duchess's confederates, the Witch of Ely, was burned
at Smithfield, a canon of Westminster died in the Tower, and a third
culprit was hung, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn. The duchess was
brought from Westminster, and landed at the Temple Stairs, from whence,
with a tall wax taper in her hand, she walked bareheaded to St. Paul's,
where she offered at the high altar. Another day she did penance at
Christ Church, Aldgate; a third day at St. Michael's, Cornhill, the Lord
Mayor, sheriffs, and most of the Corporation following. She was then
banished to the Isle of Man, and her ghost they say still haunts Peel
Castle.

And now, in the long panorama of years, there rises in Fleet Street a
clash of swords and a clatter of bucklers. In 1441 (Henry VI.) the
general effervescence of the times spread beyond Ludgate, and there was
a great affray in Fleet Street between the hot-blooded youths of the
Inns of Court and the citizens, which lasted two days; the chief man in
the riot was one of Clifford's Inn, named Harbottle; and this
irrepressible Harbottle and his fellows only the appearance of the mayor
and sheriffs could quiet. In 1458 (in the same reign) there was a more
serious riot of the same kind; the students were then driven back by
archers from the Conduit near Shoe Lane to their several inns, and some
slain, including "the Queen's attornie," who certainly ought to have
known better and kept closer to his parchments. Even the king's meek
nature was roused at this, he committed the principal governors of
Furnival's, Clifford's, and Barnard's inns, to the castle of Hertford,
and sent for several aldermen to Windsor Castle, where he either rated
or imprisoned them, or both.

Fleet Street often figures in the chronicles of Elizabeth's reign. On
one visit it is particularly said that she often graciously stopped her
coach to speak to the poor; and a green branch of rosemary given to her
by a poor woman near Fleet Bridge was seen, not without marvellous
wonder of such as knew the presenter, when her Majesty reached
Westminster. In the same reign we are told that the young Earl of
Oxford, after attending his father's funeral in Essex, rode through
Fleet Street to Westminster, attended by seven score horsemen, all in
black. Such was the splendid and proud profusion of Elizabeth's nobles.

James's reign was a stormy one for Fleet Street. Many a time the ready
'prentices snatched their clubs (as we read in "The Fortunes of Nigel"),
and, vaulting over their counters, joined in the fray that surged past
their shops. In 1621 particularly, three 'prentices having abused
Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, as he passed their master's door in
Fenchurch Street, the king ordered the riotous youths to be whipped from
Aldgate to Temple Bar. In Fleet Street, however, the apprentices rose in
force, and shouting "Rescue!" quickly released the lads and beat the
marshalmen. If there had been any resistance, another thousand sturdy
'prentices would soon have carried on the war.

Nor did Charles's reign bring any quiet to Fleet Street, for then the
Templars began to lug out their swords. On the 12th of January, 1627,
the Templars, having chosen a Mr. Palmer as their Lord of Misrule, went
out late at night into Fleet Street to collect his rents. At every door
the jovial collectors winded the Temple horn, and if at the second blast
the door was not courteously opened, my lord cried majestically, "Give
fire, gunner," and a sturdy smith burst the pannels open with a huge
sledge-hammer. The horrified Lord Mayor being appealed to soon arrived,
attended by the watch of the ward and men armed with halberts. At eleven
o'clock on the Sunday night the two monarchs came into collision in Hare
Alley (now Hare Court). The Lord of Misrule bade my Lord Mayor come to
him, but Palmer, omitting to take off his hat, the halberts flew sharply
round him, his subjects were soundly beaten, and he was dragged off to
the Compter. There, with soiled finery, the new year's king was kept two
days in durance, the attorney-general at last fetching the fallen
monarch away in his own coach. At a court masque soon afterwards the
king made the two rival potentates join hands; but the King of Misrule
had, nevertheless, to refund all the five shillings' he had exacted, and
repair all the Fleet Street doors his too handy gunner had destroyed.
The very next year the quarrelsome street broke again into a rage, and
four persons lost their lives. Of the rioters, two were executed within
the week. One of these was John Stanford, of the duke's chamber, and the
other Captain Nicholas Ashurst. The quarrel was about politics, and the
courtiers seem to have been the offenders.

In Charles II.'s time the pillory was sometimes set up at the Temple
gate; and here the wretch Titus Oates stood, amidst showers of unsavoury
eggs and the curses of those who had learnt to see the horror of his
crimes. Well said Judge Withers to this man, "I never pronounce criminal
sentence but with some compassion; but you are such a villain and
hardened sinner, that I can find no sentiment of compassion for you."
The pillory had no fixed place, for in 1670 we find a Scotchman
suffering at the Chancery Lane end for telling a victualler that his
house would be fired by the Papists; and the next year a man stood upon
the pillory at the end of Shoe Lane for insulting Lord Ambassador
Coventry as he was starting for Sweden.

In the reign of Queen Anne those pests of the London streets, the
"Mohocks," seem to have infested Fleet Street. These drunken
desperadoes--the predecessors of the roysterers who, in the times of the
Regency, "boxed the Charlies," broke windows, and stole knockers--used
to find a cruel pleasure in surrounding a quiet homeward-bound citizen
and pricking him with their swords. Addison makes worthy Sir Roger de
Coverley as much afraid of these night-birds as Swift himself; and the
old baronet congratulates himself on escaping from the clutches of "the
emperor and his black men," who had followed him half-way down Fleet
Street. He, however, boasts that he threw them out at the end of Norfolk
Street, where he doubled the corner, and scuttled safely into his quiet
lodgings.

From Elizabethan times downwards, Fleet Street was a favourite haunt of
showmen. Concerning these popular exhibitions Mr. Noble has, with great
industry, collected the following curious enumeration:--

"Ben Jonson," says our trusty authority, "in _Every Man in his Humour_,
speaks of 'a new motion of the city of Nineveh, with Jonas and the
whale, at Fleet Bridge.' In 1611 'the Fleet Street mandrakes' were to
be seen for a penny; and years later the giants of St. Dunstan's clock
caused the street to be blocked up, and people to lose their time, their
temper, and their money. During Queen Anne's reign, however, the wonders
of Fleet Street were at their height. In 1702 a model of Amsterdam,
thirty feet long by twenty feet wide, which had taken twelve years in
making, was exhibited in Bell Yard; a child, fourteen years old, without
thighs or legs, and eighteen inches high, was to be seen 'at the "Eagle
and Child," a grocer's shop, near Shoe Lane;' a great Lincolnshire ox,
nineteen hands high, four yards long, as lately shown at Cambridge, was
on view 'at the "White Horse," where the great elephant was seen;' and
'between the "Queen's Head" and "Crooked Billet," near Fleet Bridge,'
were exhibited daily 'two strange, wonderful, and remarkable monstrous
creatures--an old she-dromedary, seven feet high and ten feet long,
lately arrived from Tartary, and her young one; being the greatest
rarity and novelty that ever was seen in the three kingdomes before.' In
1710, at the 'Duke of Marlborough's Head,' in Fleet Street (by Shoe
Lane), was exhibited the 'moving picture' mentioned in the _Tatler_; and
here, in 1711, 'the great posture-master of Europe,' eclipsing the
deceased Clarke and Higgins, greatly startled sight-seeing London. 'He
extends his body into all deformed shapes; makes his hip and
shoulder-bones meet together; lays his head upon the ground, and turns
his body round twice or thrice, without stirring his face from the spot;
stands upon one leg, and extends the other in a perpendicular line half
a yard above his head; and extends his body from a table with his head a
foot below his heels, having nothing to balance his body but his feet;
with several other postures too tedious to mention.'

"And here, in 1718, De Hightrehight, the fire-eater, ate burning coals,
swallowed flaming brimstone, and sucked a red-hot poker, five times a
day!

"What will my billiard-loving friends say to the St. Dunstan's Inquest
of the year 1720? 'Item, we present Thomas Bruce, for suffering a
gaming-table (called a billiard-table, where people commonly frequent
and game) to be kept in his house.' A score of years later, at the end
of Wine Office Court, was exhibited an automaton clock, with three
figures or statues, which at the word of command poured out red or white
wine, represented a grocer shutting up his shop and a blackamoor who
struck upon a bell the number of times asked. Giants and dwarfs were
special features in Fleet Street. At the 'Rummer,' in Three Kings'
Court, was to be seen an Essex woman, named Gordon, not nineteen years
old, though seven feet high, who died in 1737. At the 'Blew Boar and
Green Tree' was on view an Italian giantess, above seven feet, weighing
425 lbs., who had been seen by ten reigning sovereigns. In 1768 died, in
Shire Lane, Edward Bamford, another giant, seven feet four inches in
height, who was buried in St. Dunstan's, though £200 was offered for his
body for dissection. At the 'Globe,' in 1717, was shown Matthew
Buckinger, a German dwarf, born in 1674, without hands, legs, feet, or
thighs, twenty-nine inches high; yet can write, thread a needle, shuffle
a pack of cards, play skittles, &c. A facsimile of his writing is among
the Harleian MSS. And in 1712 appeared the Black Prince and his wife,
each three feet high; and a Turkey horse, two feet odd high and twelve
years old, in a box. Modern times have seen giants and dwarfs, but have
they really equalled these? In 1822 the exhibition of a mermaid here was
put a stop to by the Lord Chamberlain."

In old times Fleet Street was rendered picturesque, not only by its many
gable-ended houses adorned with quaint carvings and plaster stamped in
patterns, but also by the countless signs, gay with gilding and painted
with strange devices, which hung above the shop-fronts. Heraldry
exhausted all its stores to furnish emblems for different trades. Lions
blue and red, falcons, and dragons of all colours, alternated with heads
of John the Baptist, flying pigs, and hogs in armour. On a windy day
these huge masses of painted timber creaked and waved overhead, to the
terror of nervous pedestrians, nor were accidents by any means rare. On
the 2nd of December, 1718 (George I.), a signboard opposite Bride Lane,
Fleet Street, having loosened the brickwork by its weight and movement,
suddenly gave way, fell, and brought the house down with it, killing
four persons, one of whom was the queen's jeweller. It was not, however,
till 1761 (George III.) that these dangerous signboards were ordered to
be placed flat against the walls of the houses.

When Dr. Johnson said, "Come and let us take a walk down Fleet Street,"
he proposed a no very easy task. The streets in his early days, in
London, had no side-pavements, and were roughly paved, with detestable
gutters running down the centre. From these gutters the jumbling coaches
of those days liberally scattered the mud on the unoffending pedestrians
who happened to be crossing at the time. The sedan-chairs, too, were
awkward impediments, and choleric people were disposed to fight for the
wall. In 1766, when Lord Eldon came to London as a schoolboy, and put
up at that humble hostelry the "White Horse," in Fetter Lane, he
describes coming home from Drury Lane with his brother in a sedan.
Turning out of Fleet Street into Fetter Lane, some rough fellows pushed
against the chair at the corner and upset it, in their eagerness to pass
first. Dr. Johnson's curious nervous habit of touching every street-post
he passed was cured in 1766, by the laying down of side-pavements. On
that occasion it is said two English paviours in Fleet Street bet that
they would pave more in a day than four Scotchmen could. By three
o'clock the Englishmen had got so much ahead that they went into a
public-house for refreshment, and, afterwards returning to their work,
won the wager.

In the Wilkes' riot of 1763, the mob burnt a large jack-boot in the
centre of Fleet Street, in ridicule of Lord Bute; but a more serious
affray took place in this street in 1769, when the noisy Wilkites closed
the Bar, to stop a procession of 600 loyal citizens _en route_ to St.
James's to present an address denouncing all attempts to spread sedition
and uproot the constitution. The carriages were pelted with stones, and
the City marshal, who tried to open the gates, was bedaubed with mud.
Mr. Boehm and other loyalists took shelter in "Nando's Coffee House."
About 150 of the frightened citizens, passing up Chancery Lane, got to
the palace by a devious way, a hearse with two white horses and two
black following them to St. James's Palace. Even there the Riot Act had
to be read and the Guards sent for. When Mr. Boehm fled into "Nando's,"
in his alarm, he sent home his carriage containing the address. The mob
searched the vehicle, but could not find the paper, upon which Mr.
Boehm hastened to the Court, and arrived just in time with the important
document.

The treason trials of 1794 brought more noise and trouble to Fleet
Street. Hardy, the secretary to the London Corresponding Society, was a
shoemaker at No. 161; and during the trial of this approver of the
French Revolution, Mr. John Scott (afterwards Lord Eldon) was in great
danger from a Fleet Street crowd. "The mob," he says, "kept thickening
round me till I came to Fleet Street, one of the worst parts that I had
to pass through, and the cries began to be rather threatening. 'Down
with him!' 'Now is the time, lads; do for him!' and various others,
horrible enough; but I stood up, and spoke as loud as I could: 'You may
do for me, if you like; but, remember, there will be another
Attorney-General before eight o'clock to-morrow morning, and the king
will not allow the trials to be stopped.' Upon this one man shouted out,
'Say you so? you are right to tell us. Let us give him three cheers, my
lads!' So they actually cheered me, and I got safe to my own door."

There was great consternation in Fleet Street in November, 1820, when
Queen Caroline, attended by 700 persons on horseback, passed publicly
through it to return thanks at St. Paul's. Many alarmed people
barricaded their doors and windows. Still greater was the alarm in
August, 1821, when the queen's funeral procession went by, after the
deplorable fight with the Horse Guards at Cumberland Gate, when two of
the rioters were killed.

With this rapid sketch of a few of the events in the history of Fleet
Street, we begin our patient peregrination from house to house.




CHAPTER IV.

FLEET STREET (_continued_).

    Dr. Johnson in Ambuscade at Temple Bar--The First Child--Dryden and
    Black Will--Rupert's Jewels--Telson's Bank--The Apollo Club at the
    "Devil"--"Old Sir Simon the King"--"Mull Sack"--Dr. Johnson's Supper
    to Mrs. Lennox--Will Waterproof at the "Cock"--The Duel at "Dick's
    Coffee House"--Lintot's Shop--Pope and Warburton--Lamb and the
    _Albion_--The Palace of Cardinal Wolsey--Mrs. Salmon's
    Waxwork--Isaak Walton--Praed's Bank--Murray and Byron--St.
    Dunstan's--Fleet Street Printers--Hoare's Bank and the "Golden
    Bottle"--The Real and Spurious "Mitre"--Hone's Trial--Cobbett's
    Shop--"Peele's Coffee House."


There is a delightful passage in an almost unknown essay by Dr. Johnson
that connects him indissolubly with the neighbourhood of Temple Bar. The
essay, written in 1756 for the _Universal Visitor_, is entitled "A
Project for the Employment of Authors," and is full of humour, which,
indeed, those who knew him best considered the chief feature of
Johnson's genius. We rather pride ourselves on the discovery of this
pleasant bit of autobiography:--"It is my practice," says Johnson, "when
I am in want of amusement, to place myself for an hour at Temple Bar, or
any other narrow pass much frequented, and examine one by one the looks
of the passengers, and I have commonly found that between the hours of
eleven and four every sixth man is an author. They are seldom to be seen
very early in the morning or late in the evening, but about dinner-time
they are all in motion, and have one uniform eagerness in their faces,
which gives little opportunity of discerning their hopes or fears,
their pleasures or their pains. But in the afternoon, when they have all
dined, or composed themselves to pass the day without a dinner, their
passions have full play, and I can perceive one man wondering at the
stupidity of the public, by which his new book has been totally
neglected; another cursing the French, who fright away literary
curiosity by their threat of an invasion; another swearing at his
bookseller, who will advance no money without copy; another perusing as
he walks his publisher's bill; another murmuring at an unanswerable
criticism; another determining to write no more to a generation of
barbarians; and another wishing to try once again whether he cannot
awaken the drowsy world to a sense of his merit." This extract seems to
us to form an admirable companion picture to that in which we have
already shown Goldsmith bantering his brother Jacobite, Johnson, as they
looked up together at the grim heads on Temple Bar.

[Illustration: DR. TITUS OATES.]

That quiet grave house (No. 1), that seems to demurely huddle close to
Temple Bar, as if for protection, is the oldest banking-house in London
except one. For two centuries gold has been shovelled about in those
dark rooms, and reams of bank-notes have been shuffled over by practised
thumbs. Private banks originated in the stormy days before the Civil
War, when wealthy citizens, afraid of what might happen, entrusted their
money to their goldsmiths to take care of till the troubles had blown
over. In the reign of Charles I., Francis Child, an industrious
apprentice of the old school, married the daughter of his master,
William Wheeler, a goldsmith, who lived one door west of Temple Bar, and
in due time succeeded to his estate and business. In the first London
Directory (1677), among the fifty-eight goldsmiths, thirty-eight of whom
lived in Lombard Street, "Blanchard & Child," at the "Marygold," Fleet
Street, figure conspicuously as "keeping running cashes." The original
Marygold (sometimes mistaken for a rising sun), with the motto, "Ainsi
mon ame," gilt upon a green ground, elegantly designed in the French
manner, is still to be seen in the front office, and a marigold in full
bloom still blossoms on the bank cheques. In the year 1678 it was at Mr.
Blanchard's, the goldsmith's, next door to Temple Bar, that Dryden the
poet, bruised and angry, deposited £50 as a reward for any one who would
discover the bullies of Lord Rochester who had beaten him in Rose Alley
for some scurrilous verses really written by the Earl of Dorset. The
advertisement promises, if the discoverer be himself one of the actors,
he shall still have the £50, without letting his name be known or
receiving the least trouble by any prosecution. Black Will's cudgel was,
after all, a clumsy way of making a repartee. Late in Charles II.'s
reign Alderman Backwell entered the wealthy firm; but he was ruined by
the iniquitous and arbitrary closing of the Exchequer in 1672, when the
needy and unprincipled king pocketed at one swoop more than a million
and a half of money, which he soon squandered on his shameless
mistresses and unworthy favourites. In that quaint room over Temple Bar
the firm still preserve the dusty books of the unfortunate alderman, who
fled to Holland. There, on the sallow leaves over which the poor
alderman once groaned, you can read the items of our sale of Dunkirk to
the French, the dishonourable surrender of which drove the nation almost
to madness, and hastened the downfall of Lord Clarendon, who was
supposed to have built a magnificent house (on the site of Albemarle
Street, Piccadilly) with some of the very money. Charles II. himself
banked here, and drew his thousands with all the careless nonchalance of
his nature. Nell Gwynne, Pepys, of the "Diary," and Prince Rupert also
had accounts at Child's, and some of these ledgers are still hoarded
over Temple Bar in that Venetian-looking room, approached by strange
prison-like passages, for which chamber Messrs. Child pay something less
than £50 a year.

[Illustration: TEMPLE BAR AND THE "DEVIL TAVERN" (_see page 38_).]

When Prince Rupert died at his house in the Barbican, the valuable
jewels of the old cavalry soldier, valued at £20,000, were disposed of
in a lottery, managed by Mr. Francis Child, the goldsmith; the king
himself, who took a half-business-like, half-boyish interest in the
matter, counting the tickets among all the lords and ladies at
Whitehall.

In North's "Life of Lord Keeper Guildford," the courtier and lawyer of
the reign of Charles II., there is an anecdote that pleasantly connects
Child's bank with the fees of the great lawyers who in that evil reign
ruled in Chancery Lane:--

"The Lord Keeper Guildford's business increased," says his biographer,
"even while he was solicitor, to be so much as to have overwhelmed one
less dexterous; but when he was made Attorney-General, though his gains
by his office were great, they were much greater by his practice, for
that flowed in upon him like an orage, enough to overset one that had
not an extraordinary readiness in business. His skull-caps, which he
wore when he had leisure to observe his constitution, as I touched
before, were now destined to lie in a drawer, to receive the money that
came in by fees. One had the gold, another the crowns and half-crowns,
and another the smaller money. When these vessels were full, they were
committed to his friend (the Hon. Roger North), who was constantly near
him, to tell out the cash and put it into the bags according to the
contents; and so they went to his treasurers, Blanchard & Child,
goldsmiths, Temple Bar."

Year by year the second Sir Francis Child grew in honour. He was
alderman, sheriff, Lord Mayor, President of Christ's Hospital, and M.P.
for the City, and finally, dying in 1713, full of years, was buried
under a grand black marble tomb in Fulham churchyard, and his account
closed for ever. The family went on living in the sunshine. Sir Robert,
the son of the Sir Francis, was also alderman of his ward; and, on his
death, his brother, Sir Francis, succeeded to all his father's
dignities, became an East Indian director, and in 1725 received the
special thanks of the citizens for promoting a special act for
regulating City elections. Another member of this family (Sir Josiah
Child) deserves special mention as one of the earliest writers on
political economy and a man much in advance of his time. He saw through
the old fallacy about the balance of trade, and explained clearly the
true causes of the commercial prosperity of the Dutch. He also condemned
the practice of each parish paying for its own poor, an evil which all
Poor-law reformers have endeavoured to alter. Sir Josiah was at the head
of the East India Company, already feeling its way towards the gold and
diamonds of India. His brother was Governor of Bombay, and by the
marriage of his numerous daughters the rich merchant became allied to
half the peers and peeresses of England. The grandson of Alderman
Backwell married a daughter of the second Sir Francis Child, and his
daughter married William Praed, the Truro banker, who early in the
present century opened a bank at 189, Fleet Street. So, like three
strands of a gold chain, the three banking families were welded
together. In 1689 Child's bank seems to have for a moment tottered, but
was saved by the timely loan of £1,400 proffered by that overbearing
woman the Duchess of Marlborough. Hogarth is said to have made an oil
sketch of the scene, which was sold at Hodgson's sale-room in 1834, and
has since disappeared.

In Pennant's time (1793) the original goldsmith's shop seems to have
still existed in Fleet Street, in connection with this bank. The
principal of the firm was the celebrated Countess of Jersey, a former
earl having assumed the name of Child on the countess inheriting the
estates of her maternal grandfather, Robert Child, Esq., of Osterly
Park, Middlesex. A small full-length portrait of this great beauty of
George IV.'s court, painted by Lawrence in his elegant but meretricious
manner, hangs in the first-floor room of the old bank. The last Child
died early in this century. A descendant of Addison is a member of the
present firm. In Chapter 1., Book I., of his "Tale of Two Cities,"
Dickens has sketched Child's bank with quite an Hogarthian force and
colour. He has playfully exaggerated the smallness, darkness, and
ugliness of the building, of which he describes the partners as so
proud; but there is all his usual delightful humour, occasionally
passing into caricature:--

"Thus it had come to pass that Telson's was the triumphant perfection of
inconvenience. After bursting open a door of idiotic obstinacy with a
weak rattle in its throat, you fell into Telson's down two steps, and
came to your senses in a miserable little shop with two little counters,
where the oldest of men made your cheque shake as if the wind rustled
it, while they examined the signature by the dingiest of windows, which
were always under a shower-bath of mud from Fleet Street, and which were
made the dingier by their own iron bars and the heavy shadow of Temple
Bar. If your business necessitated your seeing 'the House,' you were put
into a species of Condemned Hold at the back, where you meditated on a
mis-spent life, until the House came with its hands in its pockets, and
you could hardly blink at it in the dismal twilight."

In 1788 (George III.) the firm purchased the renowned "Devil Tavern,"
next door eastward, and upon the site erected the retiring row of houses
up a dim court, now called Child's Place, finally absorbing the old
place of revelry and hushing the unseemly clatter of pewter pots and the
clamorous shouts of "Score a pint of sherry in the Apollo" for ever.

The noisy "Devil Tavern" (No. 2, Fleet Street) had stood next the quiet
goldsmith's shop ever since the time of James I. Shakespeare himself
must, day after day, have looked up at the old sign of St. Dunstan
tweaking the Devil by the nose, that flaunted in the wind near the Bar.
Perhaps the sign was originally a compliment to the goldsmith's men who
frequented it, for St. Dunstan was, like St. Eloy, a patron saint of
goldsmiths, and himself worked at the forge as an amateur artificer of
church plate. It may, however, have only been a mark of respect to the
saint, whose church stood hard by, to the east of Chancery Lane. At the
"Devil" the Apollo Club, almost the first institution of the kind in
London, held its merry meetings, presided over by that grim yet jovial
despot, Ben Jonson. The bust of Apollo, skilfully modelled from the head
of the Apollo Belvidere, that once kept watch over the door, and heard
in its time millions of witty things and scores of fond recollections of
Shakespeare by those who personally knew and loved him, is still
preserved at Child's bank. They also show there among their heirlooms
"The Welcome," probably written by immortal Ben himself, which is full
of a jovial inspiration that speaks well for the canary at the "Devil."
It used to stand over the chimney-piece, written in gilt letters on a
black board, and some of the wittiest and wisest men of the reigns of
James and Charles must have read it over their cups. The verses run,--

    "Welcome all who lead or follow
    To the oracle of Apollo," &c.

Beneath these verses some enthusiastic disciple of the author has added
the brief epitaph inscribed by an admirer on the crabbed old poet's
tombstone in Westminster Abbey,--

    "O, rare Ben Jonson."

The rules of the club (said to have been originally cut on a slab of
black marble) were placed above the fire-place. They were devised by Ben
Jonson, in imitation of the rules of the Roman entertainments, collected
by the learned Lipsius; and, as Leigh Hunt says, they display the
author's usual style of elaborate and compiled learning, not without a
taste of that dictatorial self-sufficiency that made him so many
enemies. They were translated by Alexander Brome, a poetical attorney of
the day, who was one of Ben Jonson's twelve adopted poetical sons. We
have room only for the first few, to show the poetical character of the
club:--

    "Let none but guests or clubbers hither come;
    Let dunces, fools, and sordid men keep home;
    Let learned, civil, merry men b' invited,
    And modest, too; nor be choice liquor slighted.
    Let nothing in the treat offend the guest:
    More for delight than cost prepare the feast."

The later rules forbid the discussion of serious and sacred subjects. No
itinerant fiddlers (who then, as now, frequented taverns) were to be
allowed to obtrude themselves. The feasts were to be celebrated with
laughing, leaping, dancing, jests, and songs, and the jests were to be
"without reflection." No man (and this smacks of Ben's arrogance) was to
recite "insipid" poems, and no person was to be pressed to write verse.
There were to be in this little Elysium of an evening no vain disputes,
and no lovers were to mope about unsocially in corners. No fighting or
brawling was to be tolerated, and no glasses or windows broken, or was
tapestry to be torn down in wantonness. The rooms were to be kept warm;
and, above all, any one who betrayed what the club chose to do or say
was to be, _nolens volens_, banished. Over the clock in the kitchen some
wit had inscribed in neat Latin the merry motto, "If the wine of last
night hurts you, drink more to-day, and it will cure you"--a happy
version of the dangerous axiom of "Take a hair of the dog that bit you."

At these club feasts the old poet with "the mountain belly and the rocky
face," as he has painted himself, presided, ready to enter the ring
against all comers. By degrees the stern man with the worn features,
darkened by prison cell and hardened by battle-fields, had mellowed into
a Falstaff. Long struggles with poverty had made Ben arrogant, for he
had worked as a bricklayer in early life and had served in Flanders as a
common soldier; he had killed a rival actor in a duel, and had been in
danger of having his nose slit in the pillory for a libel against King
James's Scotch courtiers. Intellectually, too, Ben had reason to claim a
sort of sovereignty over the minor poets. His _Every Man in his Humour_
had been a great success; Shakespeare had helped him forward, and been
his bosom friend. Parts of his _Sejanus_, such as the speech of Envy,
beginning,--

    "Light, I salute thee, but with wounded nerves,
    Wishing thy golden splendour pitchy darkness,"

are as sublime as his songs, such as

    "Drink to me only with thine eyes,"

are graceful, serious, and lyrical. The great compass of his power and
the command he had of the lyre no one could deny; his learning Donne and
Camden could vouch for. He had written the most beautiful of court
masques; his Bobadil some men preferred to Falstaff. Alas! no Pepys or
Boswell has noted the talk of those evenings.

A few glimpses of the meetings we have, and but a few. One night at the
"Devil" a country gentleman was boastful of his property. It was all he
had to boast about among the poets; Ben, chafed out of all decency and
patience, at last roared, "What signify to us your dirt and your clods?
Where you have an acre of land I have ten acres of wit!" "Have you so,
good Mr. Wise-acre," retorted Master Shallow. "Why, now, Ben," cried out
a laughing friend, "you seem to be quite stung." "I' faith, I never was
so pricked by a hobnail before," growled Ben, with a surly smile.

Another story records the first visit to the "Devil" of Randolph, a
clever poet and dramatist, who became a clergyman, and died young. The
young poet, who had squandered all his money away in London pleasures,
on a certain night, before he returned to Cambridge, resolved to go and
see Ben and his associates at the "Devil," cost what it might. But there
were two great obstacles--he was poor, and he was not invited.
Nevertheless, drawn magnetically by the voices of the illustrious men in
the Apollo, Randolph at last peeped in at the door among the waiters.
Ben's quick eye soon detected the eager, pale face and the scholar's
threadbare habit. "John Bo-peep," he shouted, "come in!" a summons
Randolph gladly obeyed. The club-men instantly began rhyming on the
meanness of the intruder's dress, and told him if he could not at once
make a verse he must call for a quart of sack. There being four of his
tormentors, Randolph, ready enough at such work, replied as quick as
lightning:--

    "I, John Bo-peep, and you four sheep,
      With each one his good fleece;
    If that you are willing to give me your shilling,
      'Tis fifteen pence apiece."

"By the Lord!" roared the giant president, "I believe this is my son
Randolph!" and on his owning himself, the young poet was kindly
entertained, spent a glorious evening, was soaked in sack, "sealed of
the tribe of Ben," and became one of the old poet's twelve adopted sons.

Shakerley Marmion, a contemporary dramatist of the day, has left a
glowing Rubenesque picture of the Apollo evenings, evidently coloured
from life. Careless, one of his characters, tells his friends he is full
of oracles, for he has just come from Apollo. "From Apollo?" says his
wondering friend. Then Careless replies, with an inspired fervour worthy
of a Cavalier poet who fought bravely for King Charles:--

                      "From the heaven
    Of my delight, where the boon Delphic god
    Drinks sack and keep his bacchanalia,
    And has his incense and his altars smoking,
    And speaks in sparkling prophecies; thence I come,
    My brains perfumed with the rich Indian vapour,
    And heightened with conceits....
    And from a mighty continent of pleasure
    Sails thy brave Careless."

Simon Wadloe, the host of the "Devil," who died in 1627, seems to have
been a witty butt of a man, much such another as honest Jack Falstaff; a
merry boon companion, not only witty himself, but the occasion of wit in
others, quick at repartee, fond of proverbial sayings, curious in his
wines. A good old song, set to a fine old tune, was written about him,
and called "Old Sir Simon the King." This was the favourite
old-fashioned ditty in which Fielding's rough and jovial Squire Western
afterwards delighted.

Old Simon's successor, John Wadloe (probably his son), made a great
figure at the Restoration procession by heading a band of young men all
dressed in white. After the Great Fire John rebuilt the "Sun Tavern,"
behind the Royal Exchange, and was loyal, wealthy, and foolish enough to
lend King Charles certain considerable sums, duly recorded in Exchequer
documents, but not so duly paid.

In the troublous times of the Commonwealth the "Devil" was the favourite
haunt of John Cottington, generally known as "Mull Sack," from his
favourite beverage of spiced sherry negus. This impudent rascal, a sweep
who had turned highwayman, with the most perfect impartiality rifled the
pockets alternately of Cavaliers and Roundheads. Gold is of no religion;
and your true cut-purse is of the broadest and most sceptical Church. He
emptied the pockets of Lord Protector Cromwell one day, and another he
stripped Charles II., then a Bohemian exile at Cologne, of plate valued
at £1,500. One of his most impudent exploits was stealing a watch from
Lady Fairfax, that brave woman who had the courage to denounce, from the
gallery at Westminster Hall, the persons whom she considered were about
to become the murderers of Charles I. "This lady" (and a portly handsome
woman she was, to judge by the old portraits), says a pamphlet-writer of
the day, "used to go to a lecture on a week-day to Ludgate Church, where
one Mr. Jacomb preached, being much followed by the Puritans. Mull Sack,
observing this, and that she constantly wore her watch hanging by a
chain from her waist, against the next time she came there dressed
himself like an officer in the army; and having his comrades attending
him like troopers, one of them takes off the pin of a coach-wheel that
was going upwards through the gate, by which means it falling off, the
passage was obstructed, so that the lady could not alight at the
church door, but was forced to leave her coach without. Mull Sack,
taking advantage of this, readily presented himself to her ladyship, and
having the impudence to take her from her gentleman usher who attended
her alighting, led her by the arm into the church; and by the way, with
a pair of keen sharp scissors for the purpose, cut the chain in two, and
got the watch clear away, she not missing it till the sermon was done,
when she was going to see the time of the day."

[Illustration: INTRODUCTION OF RANDOLPH TO BEN JONSON AT THE "DEVIL"
TAVERN (_see page 40_).]

The portrait of Mull Sack has the following verses beneath:--

    "I walk the Strand and Westminster, and scorn
    To march i' the City, though I bear the horn.
    My feather and my yellow band accord,
    To prove me courtier; my boot, spur, and sword,
    My smoking-pipe, scarf, garter, rose on shoe,
    Show my brave mind t' affect what gallants do.
    I sing, dance, drink, and merrily pass the day,
    And, like a chimney, sweep all care away."

In Charles II.'s time the "Devil" became frequented by lawyers and
physicians. The talk now was about drugs and latitats, jalap and the law
of escheats. Yet, still good company frequented it, for Steele describes
Bickerstaff's sister Jenny's wedding entertainment there in October,
1709; and in 1710 (Queen Anne) Swift writes one of those charming
letters to Stella to tell her that he had dined on October 12th at the
"Devil," with Addison and Dr. Garth, when the good-natured doctor, whom
every one loved, stood treat, and there must have been talk worth
hearing. In the Apollo chamber the intolerable court odes of Colley
Cibber, the poet laureate, used to be solemnly rehearsed with fitting
music; and Pope, in "The Dunciad," says, scornfully:--

    "Back to the 'Devil' the loud echoes roll,
    And 'Coll' each butcher roars in Hockly Hole."

But Colley had talent and he had brass, and it took many such lines to
put him down. A good epigram on these public recitations runs thus:--

    "When laureates make odes, do you ask of what sort?
      Do you ask if they're good or are evil?
    You may judge: from the 'Devil' they come to the Court,
      And go from the Court to the 'Devil.'"

Dr. Kenrick afterwards gave lectures on Shakespeare at the Apollo. This
Kenrick, originally a rule-maker, and the malicious assailant of Johnson
and Garrick, was the Croker of his day. He originated the _London
Review_, and when he assailed Johnson's "Shakespeare," Johnson
laughingly replied, "That he was not going to be bound by Kenrick's
rules."

In 1746 the Royal Society held its annual dinner in the old consecrated
room, and in the year 1752 concerts of vocal and instrumental music were
given in the same place. It was an upstairs chamber, probably detached
from the tavern, and lay up a "close," or court, like some of the old
Edinburgh taverns.

The last ray of light that fell on the "Devil" was on a memorable spring
evening in 1751. Dr. Johnson (aged forty-two), then busy all day with
his six amanuenses in a garret in Gough Square compiling his Dictionary,
at night enjoyed his elephantine mirth at a club in Ivy Lane,
Paternoster Row. One night at the club, Johnson proposed to celebrate
the appearance of Mrs. Lennox's first novel, "The Life of Harriet
Stuart," by a supper at the "Devil Tavern." Mrs. Lennox was a lady for
whom Johnson--ranking her afterwards above Mrs. Carter, Mrs. Hannah
More, or even his favourite, Miss Burney--had the greatest esteem. Sir
John Hawkins, that somewhat malign rival of Boswell, describes the night
in a manner, for him, unusually genial. "Johnson," says Hawkins (and his
words are too pleasant to condense), "proposed to us the celebrating the
birth of Mrs. Lennox's first literary child, as he called her book, by a
whole night spent in festivity. Upon his mentioning it to me, I told him
I had never sat up a night in my life; but he continuing to press me,
and saying that I should find great delight in it, I, as did all the
rest of the company, consented." (The club consisted of Hawkins, an
attorney; Dr. Salter, father of a master of the Charter House; Dr.
Hawkesworth, a popular author of the day; Mr. Ryland, a merchant; Mr.
John Payne, a bookseller; Mr. Samuel Dyer, a young man training for a
Dissenting minister; Dr. William M'Ghie, a Scotch physician; Dr. Barker
and Dr. Bathurst, young physicians.) "The place appointed was the 'Devil
Tavern;' and there, about the hour of eight, Mrs. Lennox and her husband
(a tide-waiter in the Customs), a lady of her acquaintance, with the
club and friends, to the number of twenty, assembled. The supper was
elegant; Johnson had directed that a magnificent hot apple-pie should
make a part of it, and this he would have stuck with bay leaves,
because, forsooth, Mrs. Lennox was an authoress and had written verses;
and, further, he had prepared for her a crown of laurel, with which, but
not till he had invoked the Muses by some ceremonies of his own
invention, he encircled her brows. The night passed, as must be
imagined, in pleasant conversation and harmless mirth, intermingled at
different, periods with the refreshment of coffee and tea. About five
a.m., Johnson's face shone with meridian splendour, though his drink
had been only lemonade; but the far greater part of the company had
deserted the colours of Bacchus, and were with difficulty rallied to
partake of a second refreshment of coffee, which was scarcely ended when
the day began to dawn. This phenomenon began to put us in mind of our
reckoning; but the waiters were all so overcome with sleep that it was
two hours before a bill could be had, and it was not till near eight
that the creaking of the street-door gave the signal of our departure."
How one longs to dredge up some notes of such a night's conversation
from the cruel river of oblivion! The Apollo Court, on the opposite
side of Fleet Street, still preserves the memory of the great club-room
at the "Devil."

[Illustration: TEMPLE BAR IN DR. JOHNSON'S TIME (_see page 29_).]

In 1764, on an Act passing for the removal of the dangerous projecting
signs, the weather-beaten picture of the saint, with the Devil gibbering
over his shoulder, was nailed up flat to the front of the old
gable-ended house. In 1775, Collins, a public lecturer and mimic, gave a
satirical lecture at the "Devil" on modern oratory. In 1776 some young
lawyers founded there a Pandemonium Club; and after that there is no
further record of the "Devil" till it was pulled down and annexed by the
neighbouring bankers. In Steele's time there was a "Devil Tavern" at
Charing Cross, and a rival "Devil Tavern" near St. Dunstan's; but
these competitors made no mark.

[Illustration: MULL SACK AND LADY FAIRFAX (_see page 40_).]

The "Cock Tavern" (201), opposite the Temple, has been immortalised by
Tennyson as thoroughly as the "Devil" was by Ben Jonson. The playful
verses inspired by a pint of generous port have made

    "The violet of a legend blow
    Among the chops and steaks"

for ever, though old Will Waterproof has long since descended for the
last time the well-known cellar-stairs. The poem which has embalmed his
name was, we believe, written when Mr. Tennyson had chambers in
Lincoln's Inn Fields. At that time the room was lined with wainscoting,
and the silver tankards of special customers hung in glittering rows in
the bar. This tavern was shut up at the time of the Plague, and the
advertisement announcing such closing is still extant. Pepys, in his
"Diary," mentions bringing pretty Mrs. Knipp, an actress, of whom his
wife was very jealous, here; and the gay couple "drank, eat a lobster,
and sang, and mighty merry till almost midnight." On his way home to
Seething Lane, the amorous Navy Office clerk with difficulty avoided two
thieves with clubs, who met him at the entrance into the ruins of the
Great Fire near St. Dunstan's. These dangerous meetings with Mrs. Knipp
went on till one night Mrs. Pepys came to his bedside and threatened to
pinch him with the red-hot tongs. The waiters at the "Cock" are fond of
showing visitors one of the old tokens of the house in the time of
Charles II. The old carved chimney-piece is of the age of James I.; and
there is a doubtful tradition that the gilt bird that struts with such
self-serene importance over the portal was the work of that great
carver, Grinling Gibbons.

"Dick's Coffee House" (No. 8, south) was kept in George II.'s time by a
Mrs. Yarrow and her daughter, who were much admired by the young
Templars who patronised the place. The Rev. James Miller, reviving an
old French comedietta by Rousseau, called "The Coffee House," and
introducing malicious allusions to the landlady and her fair daughter,
so exasperated the young barristers that frequented "Dick's," that they
went in a body and hissed the piece from the boards. The author then
wrote an apology, and published the play; but unluckily the artist who
illustrated it took the bar at "Dick's" as the background of his sketch.
The Templars went madder than ever at this, and the Rev. Miller, who
translated Voltaire's "Mahomet" for Garrick, never came up to the
surface again. It was at "Dick's" that Cowper the poet showed the first
symptoms of derangement. When his mind was off its balance he read a
letter in a newspaper at "Dick's," which he believed had been written to
drive him to suicide. He went away and tried to hang himself; the garter
breaking, he then resolved to drown himself; but, being hindered by some
occurrence, repented for the moment. He was soon after sent to a
madhouse in Huntingdon.

In 1681 a quarrel arose between two hot-headed gallants in "Dick's"
about the size of two dishes they had both seen at the "St. John's Head"
in Chancery Lane. The matter eventually was roughly ended at the "Three
Cranes" in the Vintry--a tavern mentioned by Ben Jonson--by one of them,
Rowland St. John, running his companion, John Stiles, of Lincoln's Inn,
through the body. The St. Dunstan's Club, founded in 1796, holds its
dinner at "Dick's."

The "Rainbow Tavern" (No. 15, south) was the second coffee-house started
in London. Four years before the Restoration, Mr. Farr, a barber, began
the trade here, trusting probably to the young Temple barristers for
support. The vintners grew jealous, and the neighbours, disliking the
smell of the roasting coffee, indicted Farr as a nuisance. But he
persevered, and the Arabian drink became popular. A satirist had soon to
write regretfully,--

    "And now, alas! the drink has credit got,
    And he's no gentleman that drinks it not."

About 1780, according to Mr. Timbs, the "Rainbow" was kept by Alexander
Moncrieff, grandfather of the dramatist who wrote _Tom and Jerry_.

Bernard Lintot, the bookseller, who published Pope's "Homer," lived in a
shop between the two Temple gates (No. 16). In an inimitable letter to
the Earl of Burlington, Pope has described how Lintot (Tonson's rival)
overtook him once in Windsor Forest, as he was riding down to Oxford.
When they were resting under a tree in the forest, Lintot, with a keen
eye to business, pulled out "a mighty pretty 'Horace,'" and said to
Pope, "What if you amused yourself in turning an ode till we mount
again?" The poet smiled, but said nothing. Presently they remounted, and
as they rode on Lintot stopped short, and broke out, after a long
silence: "Well, sir, how far have we got?" "Seven miles," replied Pope,
naïvely. He told Pope that by giving the hungry critics a dinner of a
piece of beef and a pudding, he could make them see beauties in any
author he chose. After all, Pope did well with Lintot, for he gained
£5,320 by his "Homer." Dr. Young, the poet, once unfortunately sent to
Lintot a letter meant for Tonson, and the first words that Lintot read
were: "That Bernard Lintot is so great a scoundrel." In the same shop,
which was then occupied by Jacob Robinson, the publisher, Pope first met
Warburton. An interesting account of this meeting is given by Sir John
Hawkins, which it may not be out of place to quote here. "The friendship
of Pope and Warburton," he says, "had its commencement in that
bookseller's shop which is situate on the west side of the gateway
leading down the Inner Temple Lane. Warburton had some dealings with
Jacob Robinson, the publisher, to whom the shop belonged, and may be
supposed to have been drawn there on business; Pope might have made a
call of the like kind. However that may be, there they met, and entering
into conversation, which was not soon ended, conceived a mutual liking,
and, as we may suppose, plighted their faith to each other. The fruit of
this interview, and the subsequent communications of the parties, was
the publication, in November, 1739, of a pamphlet with this title, 'A
Vindication of Mr. Pope's "Essay on Man," by the Author of "The Divine
Legation of Moses." Printed for J. Robinson.'" At the Middle Temple
Gate, Benjamin Motte, successor to Ben Tooke, published Swift's
"Gulliver's Travels," for which he had grudgingly given only £200.

The third door from Chancery Lane (No. 197, north side), Mr. Timbs
points out, was in Charles II.'s time a tombstone-cutter's; and here, in
1684, Howel, whose "Letters" give us many curious pictures of his time,
saw a huge monument to four of the Oxenham family, at the death of each
of whom a white bird appeared fluttering about their bed. These
miraculous occurrences had taken place at a town near Exeter, and the
witnesses names duly appeared below the epitaph. No. 197 was afterwards
Rackstrow's museum of natural curiosities and anatomical figures; and
the proprietor put Sir Isaac Newton's head over the door for a sign.
Among other prodigies was the skeleton of a whale more than seventy feet
long. Donovan, a naturalist, succeeded Rackstrow (who died in 1772) with
his London museum. Then, by a harlequin change, No. 197 became the
office of the _Albion_ newspaper. Charles Lamb was turned over to this
journal from the _Morning Post_. The editor, John Fenwick, the "Bigot"
of Lamb's "Essay," was a needy, sanguine man, who had purchased the
paper of a person named Lovell, who had stood in the pillory for a libel
against the Prince of Wales. For a long time Fenwick contrived to pay
the Stamp Office dues by money borrowed from compliant friends. "We,"
says Lamb, in his delightful way, "attached our small talents to the
forlorn fortunes of our friend. Our occupation was now to write
treason." Lamb hinted at possible abdications. Blocks, axes, and
Whitehall tribunals were covered with flowers of so cunning a
periphrasis--as, Mr. Bayes says, never naming the _thing_ directly--that
the keen eye of an Attorney-General was insufficient to detect the
lurking snake among them.

At the south-west corner of Chancery Lane (No. 193) once stood an old
house said to have been the residence of that unfortunate reformer, Sir
John Oldcastle, Baron Cobham, who was burnt in St. Giles's Fields in
1417 (Henry V.). In Charles II.'s reign the celebrated Whig Green Ribbon
Club used to meet here, and from the balcony flourish their periwigs,
discharge squibs, and wave torches, when a great Protestant procession
passed by, to burn the effigy of the Pope at the Temple Gate. The house,
five stories high and covered with carvings, was pulled down for City
improvements in 1799.

Upon the site of No. 192 (east corner of Chancery Lane) the father of
Cowley, that fantastic poet of Charles II.'s time, it is said carried on
the trade of a grocer. In 1740 a later grocer there sold the finest
caper tea for 24s. per lb., his fine green for 18s. per lb., hyson at
16s. per lb., and bohea at 7s. per lb.

No house in Fleet Street has a more curious pedigree than that gilt and
painted shop opposite Chancery Lane (No. 17, south side), falsely called
"the palace of Henry VIII. and Cardinal Wolsey." It was originally the
office of the Duchy of Cornwall, in the reign of James I. It is just
possible that it was the house originally built by Sir Amyas Paulet, at
Wolsey's command, in resentment for Sir Amyas having set Wolsey, when a
mere parish priest, in the stocks for a brawl. Wolsey, at the time of
the ignominious punishment, was schoolmaster to the children of the
Marquis of Dorset. Paulet was confined to this house for five or six
years, to appease the proud cardinal, who lived in Chancery Lane. Sir
Amyas rebuilt his prison, covering the front with badges of the
cardinal. It was afterwards "Nando's," a famous coffee-house, where
Thurlow picked up his first great brief. One night Thurlow, arguing here
keenly about the celebrated Douglas case, was heard by some lawyers with
delight, and the next day, to his astonishment, was appointed junior
counsel. This cause won him a silk gown, and so his fortune was made by
that one lucky night at "Nando's." No. 17 was afterwards the place where
Mrs. Salmon (the Madame Tussaud of early times) exhibited her waxwork
kings and queens. There was a figure on crutches at the door; and Old
Mother Shipton, the witch, kicked the astonished visitor as he left.
Mrs. Salmon died in 1812. The exhibition was then sold for £500, and
removed to Water Lane. When Mrs. Salmon first removed from St.
Martin's-le-Grand to near St. Dunstan's Church, she announced, with true
professional dignity, that the new locality "was more convenient for the
quality's coaches to stand unmolested." Her "Royal Court of England"
included 150 figures. When the exhibition removed to Water Lane, some
thieves one night got in, stripped the effigies of their finery, and
broke half of them, throwing them into a heap that almost touched the
ceiling.

Tonson, Dryden's publisher, commenced business at the "Judge's Head,"
near the Inner Temple gate, so that when at the Kit-Kat Club he was not
far from his own shop. One day Dryden, in a rage, drew the greedy
bookseller with terrible force:--

    "With leering looks, bull-faced, and speckled fair,
    With two left legs and Judas-coloured hair,
    And frowzy pores that taint the ambient air."

The poet promised a fuller portrait if the "dog" tormented him further.

Opposite Mrs. Salmon's, two doors west of old Chancery Lane, till 1799,
when the lawyer's lane was widened, stood an old, picturesque, gabled
house, which was once the milliner's shop kept, in 1624, by that good
old soul, Isaak Walton. He was on the Vestry Board of St. Dunstan's, and
was constable and overseer for the precinct next Temple Bar; and on
pleasant summer evenings he used to stroll out to the Tottenham fields,
rod in hand, to enjoy the gentle sport which he so much loved. He
afterwards (1632) lived seven doors up Chancery Lane, west side, and
there married the sister of that good Christian, Bishop Ken, who wrote
the "Evening Hymn," one of the most simply beautiful religious poems
ever written. It is pleasant in busy Fleet Street to think of the good
old citizen on his guileless way to the river Lea, conning his verses on
the delights of angling.

Praed's Bank (No. 189, north side) was founded early in the century by
Mr. William Praed, a banker of Truro. The house had been originally the
shop of Mrs. Salmon, till she moved to opposite Chancery Lane, and her
wax kings and frail queens were replaced by piles of strong boxes and
chests of gold. The house was rebuilt in 1802, from the designs of Sir
John Soane, whose curious museum still exists in Lincoln's Inn Fields.
Praed, that delightful poet of society, was of the banker's family, and
in him the poetry of refined wealth found a fitting exponent. Fleet
Street, indeed, is rich in associations connected with bankers and
booksellers; for at No. 19 (south side) we come to Messrs. Gosling's.
This bank was founded in 1650 by Henry Pinckney, a goldsmith, at the
sign of the "Three Squirrels"--a sign still to be seen in the iron-work
over the centre window. The original sign of solid silver, about two
feet in height, made to lock and unlock, was discovered in the house in
1858. It had probably been taken down on the general removal of out-door
signs and forgotten. In a secret service-money account of the time of
Charles II., there is an entry of a sum of £646 8s. 6d. for several
parcels of gold and silver lace bought of William Gosling and partners
by the fair Duchess of Cleveland, for the wedding clothes of the Lady
Sussex and Lichfield.

No. 32 (south side), still a bookseller's, was originally kept for forty
years by William Sandby, one of the partners of Snow's bank in the
Strand. He sold the business and goodwill in 1762 for £400, to a
lieutenant of the Royal Navy, named John M'Murray, who, dropping the
Mac, became the well-known Tory publisher. Murray tried in vain to
induce Falconer, the author of "The Shipwreck," to join him as a
partner. The first Murray died in 1793. In 1812 John Murray, the son of
the founder, removed to 50, Albemarle Street. In the _Athenæum_ of 1843
a writer describes how Byron used to stroll in here fresh from his
fencing-lessons at Angelo's or his sparring-bouts with Jackson. He was
wont to make cruel lunges with his stick at what he called "the spruce
books" on Murray's shelves, generally striking the doomed volume, and by
no means improving the bindings. "I was sometimes, as you will guess,"
Murray used to say with a laugh, "glad to get rid of him." Here, in
1807, was published "Mrs. Rundell's Domestic Cookery;" in 1809, the
_Quarterly Review_; and, in 1811, Byron's "Childe Harold."

The original Columbarian Society, long since extinct, was born at
offices in Fleet Street, near St. Dunstan's. This society was replaced
by the Pholoperisteron, dear to all pigeon-fanciers, which held its
meetings at "Freemasons' Tavern," and eventually amalgamated with its
rival, the National Columbarian, the fruitful union producing the
National Peristeronic Society, now a flourishing institution, meeting
periodically at "Evans's," and holding a great fluttering and most
pleasant annual show at the Crystal Palace. It is on these occasions
that clouds of carrier-pigeons are let off, to decide the speed with
which the swiftest and best-trained bird can reach a certain spot (a
flight, of course, previously known to the bird), generally in Belgium.

The first St. Dunstan's Church--"in the West," as it is now called, to
distinguish it from one near Tower Street--was built prior to 1237. The
present building was erected in 1831. The older church stood thirty feet
forward, blocking the carriage-way, and shops with projecting signs were
built against the east and west walls. The churchyard was a favourite
locality for booksellers. One of the most interesting stories connected
with the old building relates to Felton, the fanatical assassin of the
Duke of Buckingham, the favourite of Charles I. The murderer's mother
and sisters lodged at a haberdasher's in Fleet Street, and were
attending service in St. Dunstan's Church when the news arrived from
Portsmouth; they swooned away when they heard the name of the assassin.
Many of the clergy of St. Dunstan's have been eminent men. Tyndale, the
translator of the New Testament, did duty here. The poet Donne was
another of the St. Dunstan's worthies; and Sherlock and Romaine both
lectured at this church. The rectory house, sold in 1693, was No. 183.
The clock of old St. Dunstan's was one of the great London sights in the
last century. The giants that struck the hours had been set up in 1671,
and were made by Thomas Harrys, of Water Lane, for £35 and the old
clock. Lord Hertford purchased them, in 1830, for £210, and set them up
at his villa in Regent's Park. When a child he was often taken to see
them; and he then used to say that some day he would buy "those giants."
Hatton, writing in 1708, says that these figures were more admired on
Sundays by the populace than the most eloquent preacher in the pulpit
within; and Cowper, in his "Table Talk," cleverly compares dull poets to
the St. Dunstan's giants:--

    "When labour and when dulness, club in hand,
    Like the two figures at St. Dunstan stand,
    Beating alternately, in measured time,
    The clock-work tintinnabulum of rhyme."

The most interesting relic of modern St. Dunstan's is that unobtrusive
figure of Queen Elizabeth at the east end. This figure from the old
church came from Ludgate when the City gates were destroyed in 1786. It
was bought for £16 10s. when the old church came to the ground, and was
re-erected over the vestry entrance. The companion statues of King Lud
and his two sons were deposited in the parish bone-house. On one
occasion when Baxter was preaching in the old church of St. Dunstan's,
there arose a panic among the audience from two alarms of the building
falling. Every face turned pale; but the preacher, full of faith, sat
calmly down in the pulpit till the panic subsided, then, resuming his
sermon, said reprovingly, "We are in the service of God, to prepare
ourselves that we may be fearless at the great noise of the dissolving
world when the heavens shall pass away and the elements melt with
fervent heat."

Mr. Noble, in his record of this parish, has remarked on the
extraordinary longevity attained by the incumbents of St. Dunstan's. Dr.
White held the living for forty-nine years; Dr. Grant, for fifty-nine;
the Rev. Joseph Williamson (Wilkes's chaplain) for forty-one years;
while the Rev. William Romaine continued lecturer for forty-six years.
The solution of the problem probably is that a good and secure income is
the best promoter of longevity. Several members of the great banking
family of Hoare are buried in St. Dunstan's; but by far the most
remarkable monument in the church bears the following inscription:--

    "HOBSON JUDKINS, ESQ., late of Clifford's Inn, the Honest Solicitor,
    who departed this life June 30, 1812. This tablet was erected by his
    clients, as a token of gratitude and respect for his honest,
    faithful, and friendly conduct to them throughout life. Go, reader,
    and imitate Hobson Judkins."

Among the burials at St. Dunstan's noted in the registers, the following
are the most remarkable:--1559-60, Doctor Oglethorpe, the Bishop of
Carlisle, who crowned Queen Elizabeth; 1664, Dame Bridgett Browne, wife
of Sir Richard Browne, major-general of the City forces, who offered
£1,000 reward for the capture of Oliver Cromwell; 1732, Christopher
Pinchbeck, the inventor of the metal named after him and a maker of
musical clocks. The Plague seems to have made great havoc in St.
Dunstan's, for in 1665, out of 856 burials, 568 in only three months are
marked "P.," for Plague. The present church, built in 1830-3, was
designed by John Shaw, who died on the twelfth day after the completion
of the outer shell, leaving his son to finish his work. The church is of
a flimsy Gothic, the true revival having hardly then commenced. The
eight bells are from the old church. The two heads over the chief
entrance are portraits of Tyndale and Dr. Donne; and the painted window
is the gift of the Hoare family.

According to Aubrey, Drayton, the great topographical poet, lived at
"the bay-window house next the east end of St. Dunstan's Church." Now it
is a clearly proved fact that the Great Fire stopped just three doors
east of St. Dunstan's, as did also, Mr. Timbs says, another remarkable
fire in 1730; so it is not impossible that the author of "The
Polyolbion," that good epic poem, once lived at the present No. 180,
though the next house eastward is certainly older than its neighbour. We
have given a drawing of the house.

[Illustration: MRS. SALMON'S WAXWORK, FLEET STREET--"PALACE OF HENRY
VIII. AND CARDINAL WOLSEY" (_see page 45_).]

That shameless rogue, Edmund Curll, lived at the "Dial and Bible,"
against St. Dunstan's Church. When this clever rascal was put in the
pillory at Charing Cross, he persuaded the mob he was in for a political
offence, and so secured the pity of the crowd. The author of "John
Buncle" describes Curll as a tall, thin, awkward man, with goggle eyes,
splay feet, and knock-knees. His translators lay three in a bed at the
"Pewter Platter Inn" at Holborn. He published the most disgraceful books
and forged letters. Curll, in his revengeful spite, accused Pope of
pouring an emetic into his half-pint of canary when he and Curll and
Lintot met by appointment at the "Swan Tavern," Fleet Street. By St.
Dunstan's, at the "Homer's Head," also lived the publisher of the first
correct edition of "The Dunciad."

[Illustration: ST. DUNSTAN'S CLOCK (_see page 47_).]

Among the booksellers who crowded round old St. Dunstan's were Thomas
Marsh, of the "Prince's Arms," who printed Stow's "Chronicles;" and
William Griffith, of the "Falcon," in St. Dunstan's Churchyard, who, in
the year 1565, issued, without the authors' consent, _Gorboduc_, written
by Thomas Norton and Lord Buckhurst, the first real English tragedy and
the first play written in English blank verse. John Smethwicke, a still
more honoured name, "under the diall" of St. Dunstan's Church, published
"Hamlet" and "Romeo and Juliet." Richard Marriot, another St. Dunstan's
bookseller, published Quarle's "Emblems," Dr. Donne's "Sermons," that
delightful, simple-hearted book, Isaak Walton's "Complete Angler," and
Butler's "Hudibras," that wonderful mass of puns and quibbles, pressed
close as potted meat. Matthias Walker, a St. Dunstan's bookseller, was
one of the three timid publishers who ventured on a certain poem,
called "The Paradise Lost," giving John Milton, the blind poet, the
enormous sum of £5 down, £5 on the sale of 1,300 copies of the first,
second, and third impressions, in all the munificent recompense of £20;
the agreement was given to the British Museum in 1852, by Samuel Rogers,
the banker poet.

Nor in this list of Fleet Street printers must we forget to insert
Richard Pynson, from Normandy, who had worked at Caxton's press, and was
a contemporary of De Worde. According to Mr. Noble (to whose work we are
so deeply indebted), Pynson printed in Fleet Street, at his office, the
"George" (first in the Strand, and afterwards beside St. Dunstan's
Church), no less than 215 works. The first of these, completed in the
year 1483, was probably the first book printed in Fleet Street,
afterwards a gathering-place for the ink-stained craft. A copy of this
book, "Dives and Pauper," was sold a few years since for no less than
£49. In 1497 the same busy Frenchman published an edition of "Terence,"
the first Latin classic printed in England. In 1508 he became printer to
King Henry VII., and after this produced editions of Fabyan's and
Froissart's "Chronicles." He seems to have had a bitter feud with a
rival printer, named Robert Rudman, who pirated his trade-mark. In one
of his books he thus quaintly falls foul of the enemy: "But truly
Rudeman, because he is the rudest out of a thousand men.... Truly I
wonder now at last that he hath confessed it in his own typography,
unless it chanced that even as the devil made a cobbler a mariner, he
made him a printer. Formerly this scoundrel did prefer himself a
bookseller, as well skilled as if he had started forth from Utopia. He
knows well that he is free who pretendeth to books, although it be
nothing more."

To this brief chronicle of early Fleet Street printers let us add
Richard Bancks, who, in 1600, at his office, "the sign of the White
Hart," printed that exquisite fairy poem, Shakespeare's "Midsummer
Night's Dream." How one envies the "reader" of that office, the
compositors--nay, even the sable imp who pulled the proof, and snatched
a passage or two about Mustard and Pease Blossom in a surreptitious
glance! Another great Fleet Street printer was Richard Grafton, the
printer, as Mr. Noble says, of the first correct folio English
translation of the Bible, by permission of Henry VIII. When in Paris,
Grafton had to fly with his books from the Inquisition. After his patron
Cromwell's execution, in 1540, Grafton was sent to the Fleet for
printing Bibles, but in the happier times of Edward VI. he became king's
printer at the Grey Friars (now Christ's Hospital). His former
fellow-worker in Paris, Edward Whitchurch, set up his press at De
Worde's old house, the "Sun," near the Fleet Street conduit. He
published the "Paraphrase of Erasmus," a copy of which, Mr. Noble says,
existed, with its desk-chains, in the vestry of St. Benet's, Gracechurch
Street. Whitchurch married the widow of Archbishop Cranmer.

The "Hercules Pillars" (now No. 27, Fleet Street, south) was a
celebrated tavern as early as the reign of James I., and in the now
nameless alley by its side several houses of entertainment nestled
themselves. The tavern is interesting to us chiefly because it was a
favourite resort of Pepys, who frequently mentions it in his quaint and
graphic way.

No. 37 (Hoare's Bank), south, is well known by the golden bottle that
still hangs, exciting curiosity, over the fanlight of the entrance.
Popular legend has it that this gilt case contains the original leather
bottle carried by the founder when he came up to London, with the usual
half-crown in his pocket, to seek his fortune. Sir Richard Colt Hoare,
however, in his family history, destroys this romance. The bottle is
merely a sign adopted by James Hoare, the founder of the bank, from his
father having been a citizen and cooper of the city of London. James
Hoare was a goldsmith who kept "running cash" at the "Golden Bottle" in
Cheapside in 1677. The bank was removed to Fleet Street between 1687 and
1692. The original bank, described by Mr. Timbs as "a low-browed
building with a narrow entrance," was pulled down about forty years
since. In the records of the debts of Lord Clarendon is the item, "To
Mr. Hoare, for plate, £27 10s. 3d."; and, by the secret service expenses
of James II., "Charles Duncombe and James Hoare, Esqrs.," appear to have
executed for a time the office of master-workers at the Mint. A Sir
Richard Hoare was Lord Mayor in 1713; and another of the same family,
sheriff in 1740-41 and Lord Mayor in 1745, distinguished himself by his
preparations to defend London against the Pretender. In an
autobiographical record still extant of the shrievalty of the first of
these gentlemen, the writer says:--"After being regaled with sack and
walnuts, I returned to my own house in Fleet Street, in my private
capacity, to my great consolation and comfort." This Richard Hoare, with
Beau Nash, Lady Hastings, &c., founded, in 1716, the Bath General
Hospital, to which charity the firm still continue treasurers; and to
this same philanthropic gentleman, Robert Nelson, who wrote the
well-known book on "Fasts and Festivals," gave £100 in trust as the
first legacy to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Mr. Noble
quotes a curious broadside still extant in which the second Sir Richard
Hoare, who died in 1754, denies a false and malicious report that he had
attempted to cause a run on the Bank of England, and to occasion a
disturbance in the City, by sending persons to the Bank with ten notes
of £10 each. What a state of commercial wealth, to be shaken by the
sudden demand of a mere £100!

Next to Hoare's once stood the "Mitre Tavern," where some of the most
interesting of the meetings between Dr. Johnson and Boswell took place.
The old tavern was pulled down, in 1829, by the Messrs. Hoare, to extend
their banking-house. The original "Mitre" was of Shakespeare's time. In
some MS. poems by Richard Jackson, a contemporary of the great poet, are
some verses beginning, "From the rich Lavinian shore," inscribed as
"Shakespeare's rime, which he made at ye 'Mitre,' in Fleet Street." The
balcony was set on flames during the Great Fire, and had to be pulled
down. Here, in June, 1763, Boswell came by solemn appointment to meet
Johnson, so long the god of his idolatry. They had first met at the shop
of Davis, the actor and bookseller, and afterwards near an eating-house
in Butcher Row. Boswell describes his feelings with delightful sincerity
and self-complacency. "We had," he says, "a good supper and port wine,
of which Johnson then sometimes drank a bottle. The orthodox High Church
sound of the Mitre, the figure and manner of the celebrated Samuel
Johnson, the extraordinary power of his conversation, and the pride
arising from finding myself admitted as his companion, produced a
variety of sensations and a pleasing elevation of mind beyond what I had
ever before experienced." That memorable evening Johnson ridiculed
Colley Cibber's birthday odes and Paul Whitehead's "grand nonsense," and
ran down Gray, who had declined his acquaintance. He talked of other
poets, and praised poor Goldsmith as a worthy man and excellent author.
Boswell fairly won the great man by his frank avowals and his adroit
flattery. "Give me your hand," at last cried the great man to the small
man: "I have taken a liking to you." They then finished a bottle of port
each, and parted between one and two in the morning. As they shook
hands, on their way to No. 1, Inner Temple Lane, where Johnson then
lived, Johnson said, "Sir, I am glad we have met. I hope we shall pass
many evenings, and mornings too, together." A few weeks after the Doctor
and his young disciple met again at the "Mitre," and Goldsmith was
present. The poet was full of love for Dr. Johnson, and speaking of some
scapegrace, said tenderly, "He is now become miserable, and that insures
the protection of Johnson." At another "Mitre" meeting, on a Scotch
gentleman present praising Scotch scenery, Johnson uttered his bitter
gibe, "Sir, let me tell you that the noblest prospect which a Scotchman
ever sees is the high road that leads him to England." In the same month
Johnson and Boswell met again at the "Mitre." The latter confessed his
nerves were much shaken by the old port and the late tavern hours; and
Johnson laughed at people who had accepted a pension from the house of
Hanover abusing him as a Jacobite. It was at the "Mitre" that Johnson
urged Boswell to publish his "Travels in Corsica;" and at the "Mitre" he
said finely of London, "Sir, the happiness of London is not to be
conceived but by those who have been in it. I will venture to say there
is more learning and science within the circumference of ten miles from
where we sit than in all the rest of the kingdom." It was here the
famous "Tour to the Hebrides" was planned and laid out. Another time we
find Goldsmith and Boswell going arm-in-arm to Bolt Court, to prevail on
Johnson to go and sup at the "Mitre;" but he was indisposed. Goldsmith,
since "the big man" could not go, would not venture at the "Mitre" with
Boswell alone. At Boswell's last "Mitre" evening with Johnson, May,
1778, Johnson would not leave Mrs. Williams, the blind old lady who
lived with him, till he had promised to send her over some little dainty
from the tavern. This was very kindly and worthy of the man who had the
coat but not the heart of a bear. From 1728 to 1753 the Society of
Antiquaries met at the "Mitre," and discussed subjects then wrongly
considered frivolous. The Royal Society had also conclaves at the same
celebrated tavern; and here, in 1733, Thomas Topham, the strongest man
of his day, in the presence of eight persons, rolled up with his iron
fingers a large pewter dish. In 1788 the "Mitre" ceased to be a tavern,
and became, first Macklin's Poet's Gallery, and then an auction-room.
The present spurious "Mitre Tavern," in Mitre Court, was originally
known as "Joe's Coffee-House."

It was at No. 56 (south side) that Lamb's friend, William Hone, the
publisher of the delightful "Table Book" and "Every-day Book," commenced
business about 1812. In 1815 he was brought before the Wardmote Inquest
of St. Dunstan's for placarding his shop on Sundays, and for carrying on
a retail trade as bookseller and stationer, not being a freeman. The
Government had no doubt suggested the persecution of so troublesome an
opponent, whose defence of himself is said to have all but killed Lord
Ellenborough, the judge who tried him for publishing blasphemous
parodies. In 1815 Hone took great interest in the case of Eliza Fenning,
a poor innocent servant girl, who was hung for a supposed attempt to
poison her master, a law stationer in Chancery Lane. It was afterwards
believed that a nephew of Mr. Turner really put the poison in the dough
of some dumplings, in revenge at being kept short of money.

Mr. Cyrus Jay, a shrewd observer, was present at Hone's trial, and has
described it with vividness:--

"Hone defended himself firmly and well, but he had no spark of eloquence
about him. For years afterwards I was often with him, and he was made a
great deal of in society. He became very religious, and died a member of
Mr. Clayton's Independent chapel, worshipping at the Weigh House. The
last important incident of Lord Ellenborough's political life was the
part he took as presiding judge in Hone's trials for the publication of
certain blasphemous parodies. At this time he was suffering from the
most intense exhaustion, and his constitution was sinking under the
fatigues of a long and sedulous discharge of his important duties. This
did not deter him from taking his seat upon the bench on this occasion.
When he entered the court, previous to the trial, Hone shouted out, 'I
am glad to see you, Lord Ellenborough. I know what you are come here
for; I know what you want.' 'I am come to do justice,' replied his
lordship. 'My wish is to see justice done.' 'Is it not rather, my lord,'
retorted Hone, 'to send a poor devil of a bookseller to rot in a
dungeon?' In the course of the proceedings Lord Ellenborough more than
once interfered. Hone, it must be acknowledged, with less vehemence than
might have been expected, requested him to forbear. The next time his
lordship made an observation, in answer to something the defendant urged
in the course of his speech, Hone exclaimed, in a voice of thunder, 'I
do not speak to you, my lord; you are not my judge; these,' pointing to
the jury, 'these are my judges, and it is to them that I address
myself.' Hone avenged himself on what he called the Chief Justice's
partiality; he wounded him where he could not defend himself. Arguing
that Athanasius was not the author of the creed that bears his name, he
cited, by way of authority, passages from the writings of Gibbon and
Warburton to establish his position. Fixing his eyes on Lord
Ellenborough, he then said, 'And, further, your lordship's father, the
late worthy Bishop of Carlisle, has taken a similar view of the same
creed.' Lord Ellenborough could not endure this allusion to his father's
heterodoxy. In a broken voice he exclaimed, 'For the sake of decency,
forbear!' The _request_ was immediately complied with. The jury
acquitted Hone, a result which is said to have killed the Chief Justice;
but this is probably not true. That he suffered in consequence of the
trial is certain. After he entered his private room, when the trial was
over, his strength had so far deserted him that his son was obliged to
put his hat on for him. But he quickly recovered his spirits; and on his
way home, in passing through Charing Cross, he pulled the check-string,
and said, 'It just occurs to me that they sell here the best herrings in
London; buy six.' Indeed Dr. Turner, afterwards Bishop of Calcutta, who
accompanied him in his carriage, said that so far from his nerves being
shaken by the hootings of the mob, Lord Ellenborough only observed that
their saliva was worse than their bite....

"When Hone was tried before him for blasphemy, Lord Tenterden treated
him with great forbearance; but Hone, not content with the indulgence,
took to vilifying the judge. 'Even in a Turkish court I should not have
met with the treatment I have experienced here,' he exclaimed.
'Certainly,' replied Lord Tenterden; 'the bowstring would have been
round your neck an hour ago.'"

That sturdy political writer, William Cobbett, lived at No. 183 (north),
and there published his _Political Register_. In 1819 he wrote from
America, declaring that if Sir Robert Peel's Bank Bill passed, he would
give Castlereagh leave to lay him on a gridiron and broil him alive,
while Sidmouth stirred the coals, and Canning stood by and laughed at
his groans. In 1827 he announced in his _Register_ that he would place a
gridiron on the front of his shop whenever Peel's Bill was repealed. The
"Small Note Bill" was repealed, when there was a reduction of the
interest of the National Debt. The gridiron so often threatened never
actually went up, but it was to be seen a few years ago nailed on the
gable end of a candle manufacturer's at Kensington. The two houses next
to Cobbett's (184 and 185) are the oldest houses standing in Fleet
Street.

"Peele's Coffee-House" (Nos. 177 and 178, north side) once boasted a
portrait of Dr. Johnson, said to be by Sir Joshua Reynolds, on the
keystone of the mantelpiece. This coffee-house is of antiquity, but is
chiefly memorable for its useful files of newspapers and for its having
been the central committee-room of the Society for Repealing the Paper
Duty. The struggle began in 1858, and eventually triumphed, thanks to
the president, the Right Hon. Milner Gibson, and the chairman, the late
Mr. John Cassell. The house within the last few years has been entirely
rebuilt. In former times "Peele's Coffee-House" was quite a house of
call and post-office for money-lenders and bill-discounters; though
crowds of barristers and solicitors also frequented it, in order to
consult the useful files of London and country newspapers hoarded there
for now more than a century. Mr. Jay has left us an amusing sketch of
one of the former frequenters of "Peele's"--the late Sir William Owen
Barlow, a bencher of the Middle Temple. This methodical old gentleman
had never travelled in a stage-coach or railway-carriage in his life,
and had not for years read a book. He came in for dinner at the same
hour every day, except in Term-time, and was very angry if any loud
talkers disturbed him at his evening paper. He once requested the
instant discharge of a waiter at "Peele's," because the civil but
ungrammatical man had said, "There are a leg of mutton, and there is
chops."




CHAPTER V.

FLEET STREET (_continued_).

    The "Green Dragon"--Tompion and Pinchbeck--The _Record_--St. Bride's
    and its Memories--_Punch_ and his Contributors--The _Dispatch_--The
    _Daily Telegraph_--The "Globe Tavern" and Goldsmith--The _Morning
    Advertiser_--The _Standard_--The _London Magazine_--A Strange
    Story--Alderman Waithman--Brutus Billy--Hardham and his "37."


The original "Green Dragon" (No. 56, south) was destroyed by the Great
Fire, and the new building set six feet backward. During the Popish Plot
several anti-papal clubs met here; and from the windows Roger North
stood to see the shouting, torch-waving procession pass along, to burn
the Pope's effigy at Temple Bar. In the "Discussion Forum" many Lord
Chancellors of the future have tried their eloquence. It was celebrated
some years ago from an allusion to it made by Napoleon III.

At No. 67 (corner of Whitefriars Street) once lived that famous
watchmaker of Queen Anne's reign, Thomas Tompion, who is said, in 1700,
to have begun a clock for St. Paul's Cathedral which was to go one
hundred years without winding up. He died in 1713. His apprentice,
George Graham, invented, as Mr. Noble tells us, the horizontal
escapement, in 1724. He was succeeded by Mudge and Dutton, who, in 1768,
made Dr. Johnson his first watch. The old shop was (1850) one of the
last in Fleet Street to be modernised.

Between Bolt and Johnson's courts (152-166, north)--say near "Anderton's
Hotel"--there lived, in the reign of George II., at the sign of the
"Astronomer's Musical Clock," Christopher Pinchbeck, an ingenious
musical-clockmaker, who invented the "cheap and useful imitation of
gold," which still bears his name. (Watt's, in his "Dictionary of
Chemistry," says "pinchbeck" is an alloy of copper and zinc, usually
containing about nine parts copper to one part zinc. Brandt says it is
an alloy containing more copper than exists in brass, and consequently
made by fusing various proportions of copper with brass.) Pinchbeck
often exhibited his musical automata in a booth at Bartholomew Fair,
and, in conjunction with Fawkes the Conjuror, at Southwark Fair. He
made, according to Mr. Wood, an exquisite musical clock, worth about
£500, for Louis XIV., and a fine organ for the Great Mogul, valued at
£300. He died in 1732. He removed to Fleet Street (between Bolt and
Johnson's courts, north side) from Clerkenwell in 1721. His clocks
played tunes and imitated the notes of birds. In 1765 he set up, at the
Queen's House, a clock with four faces, showing the age of the moon, the
day of the week and month, the time of sun rising, &c.

No. 161 (north) was the shop of Thomas Hardy, that agitating bootmaker,
secretary to the London Corresponding Society, who was implicated in the
John Horne Tooke trials of 1794; and next door, years after (No. 162),
Richard Carlisle, a "freethinker," opened a lecturing, conversation, and
discussion establishment, preached the "only true gospel," hung effigies
of bishops outside his shop, and was eventually quieted by nine years'
imprisonment, a punishment by no means undeserved. No. 76 (south) was
once the entrance to the printing-office of Samuel Richardson, the
author of "Clarissa," who afterwards lived in Salisbury Square, and
there held levees of his admirers, to whom he read his works with an
innocent vanity which occasionally met with disagreeable rebuffs.

"Anderton's Hotel" (No. 164, north side) occupies the site of a house
given, as Mr. Noble says, in 1405, to the Goldsmiths' Company, under the
singular title of "The Horn in the Hoop," probably at that time a
tavern. In the register of St. Dunstan's is an entry (1597), "Ralph
slaine at the Horne, buryed," but no further record exists of this
hot-headed roysterer. In the reign of King James I. the "Horn" is
described as "between the 'Red Lion,' over against Serjeants' Inn, and
Three-legged Alley."

[Illustration: AN EVENING WITH DR. JOHNSON AT THE "MITRE" (_see page
51_).]

[Illustration: OLD HOUSES (STILL STANDING) IN FLEET STREET, NEAR ST.
DUNSTAN'S CHURCH (_see page 52_).]

The _Record_ (No. 169, north side) started in 1828 as an organ of the
extreme Evangelical party. The first promoters were the late Mr. James
Evans, a brother of Sir Andrew Agnew, and Mr. Andrew Hamilton, of West
Ham Common (the first secretary of the Alliance Insurance Company).
Among their supporters were Henry Law, Dean of Gloucester, and Francis
Close, afterwards Dean of Carlisle. Amongst its earliest writers was the
celebrated Dr. John Henry Newman, of Oxford. The paper was all but dying
when a new "whip" was made for money, and the Rev. Henry Blunt, of
Chelsea, became for a short time its editor. The _Record_ at last began
to flourish and to assume a bolder and a more independent tone. Dean
Milman's neology, the peculiarities of the Irvingites, and the dangerous
Oxford tracts, were alternately denounced. In due course the _Record_
began to appear three times a week, and became celebrated for its
uncompromising religious tone and, as Mr. James Grant truly says, for
the earliness and accuracy of its politico-ecclesiastical information.

The old church of St. Bride (Bridget) was of great antiquity. As early
as 1235 we find a turbulent foreigner, named Henry de Battle, after
slaying one Thomas de Hall on the king's highway, flying for sanctuary
to St. Bride's, where he was guarded by the aldermen and sheriffs, and
examined in the church by the Constable of the Tower. The murderer,
after confessing his crime, abjured the realm. In 1413 a priest of St.
Bride's was hung for an intrigue in which he had been detected. William
Venor, a warden of the Fleet Prison, added a body and side-aisles in
1480 (Edward IV.) At the Reformation there were orchards between the
parsonage gardens and the Thames. In 1637, a document in the Record
Office, quoted by Mr. Noble, mentions that Mr. Palmer, vicar of St.
Bride's, at the service at seven a.m., sometimes omitted the prayer for
the bishop, and, being generally lax as to forms, often read service
without surplice, gown, or even his cloak. This worthy man, whose living
was sequestered in 1642, is recorded, in order to save money for the
poor, to have lived in a bed-chamber in St. Bride's steeple. He founded
an almshouse in Westminster, upon which Fuller remarks, in his quaint
way, "It giveth the best light when one carrieth his lantern before
him." The brother of Pepys was buried here in 1664 under his mother's
pew. The old church was swallowed up by the Great Fire, and the present
building erected in 1680, at a cost of £11,430 5s. 11d. The tower and
spire were considered masterpieces of Wren. The spire, originally 234
feet high, was struck by lightning in 1754, and it is now only 226 feet
high. It was again struck in 1803. The illuminated dial (the second
erected in London) was set up permanently in 1827. The Spital sermons,
now preached in Christ Church, Newgate Street, were preached in St.
Bride's from the Restoration till 1797. They were originally all
preached in the yard of the hospital of St. Mary Spital, Bishopsgate.
Mr. Noble, has ransacked the records relating to St. Bride's with the
patience of old Stow. St. Bride's, he says, was renowned for its
tithe-rate contests; but after many lawsuits and great expense, a final
settlement of the question was come to in the years 1705-6. An Act was
passed in 1706, by which Thomas Townley, who had rented the tithes for
twenty-one years, was to be paid £1,200 within two years, by quarterly
payments and £400 a year afterwards. In 1869 the inappropriate rectory
of St. Bridget and the tithes thereof, except the advowson, the
parsonage house, and Easter-dues offerings, were sold by auction for
£2,700. It may be here worthy to note, says Mr. Noble, that in 1705 the
number of rateable houses in the parish of St. Bride was 1,016, and the
rental £18,374; in 1868 the rental was £205,407 gross, or £168,996
rateable.

Mr. Noble also records pleasantly the musical feats accomplished on the
bells of St. Bride's. In 1710 ten bells were cast for this church by
Abraham Rudhall, of Gloucester, and on the 11th of January, 1717, it is
recorded that the first complete peal of 5,040 grandsire caters ever
rung was effected by the "London scholars." In 1718 two treble bells
were added; and on the 9th of January, 1724, the first peal ever
completed in this kingdom upon twelve bells was rung by the college
youths; and in 1726 the first peal of Bob Maximus, one of the ringers
being Mr. Francis (afterwards Admiral) Geary. It was reported by the
ancient ringers, says our trustworthy authority, that every one who rang
in the last-mentioned peal left the church in his own carriage. Such was
the dignity of the "campanularian" art in those days. When St. Bride's
bells were first put up, Fleet Street used to be thronged with carriages
full of gentry, who had come far and near to hear the pleasant music
float aloft. During the terrible Gordon Riots, in 1780, Brasbridge, the
silversmith, who wrote an autobiography, says he went up to the top of
St. Bride's steeple to see the awful spectacle of the conflagration of
the Fleet Prison, but the flakes of fire, even at that great height,
fell so thickly as to render the situation untenable.

Many great people lie in and around St. Bride's; and Mr. Noble gives
several curious extracts from the registers. Among the names we find
Wynkyn de Worde, the second printer in London; Baker, the chronicler;
Lovelace, the Cavalier poet, who died of want in Gunpowder Alley, Shoe
Lane; Ogilby, the translator of Homer; the Countess of Orrery (1710);
Elizabeth Thomas, a lady immortalised by Pope; and John Hardham, the
Fleet Street tobacconist. The entrance to the vault of Mr. Holden (a
friend of Pepys), on the north side of the church, is a relic of the
older building. Inside St. Bride's are monuments to Richardson, the
novelist; Nichols, the historian of Leicestershire; and Alderman
Waithman. Among the clergy of St. Bride's Mr. Noble notes John
Cardmaker, who was burnt at Smithfield for heresy, in 1555; Fuller, the
Church historian and author of the "Worthies," who was lecturer here;
Dr. Isaac Madox, originally an apprentice to a pastrycook, and who died
Bishop of Winchester in 1759; and Dr. John Thomas, vicar, who died in
1793. There were two John Thomases among the City clergy of that time.
They were both chaplains to the king, both good preachers, both
squinted, and both died bishops!

The present approach to St. Bride's, designed by J.P. Papworth, in 1824,
cost £10,000, and was urged forward by Mr. Blades, a Tory tradesman of
Ludgate Hill, and a great opponent of Alderman Waithman. A fire that had
destroyed some ricketty old houses gave the requisite opportunity for
letting air and light round poor, smothered-up St. Bride's.

The office of _Punch_ (No. 85, south side) is said to occupy the site of
the small school, in the house of a tailor, in which Milton once earned
a precarious living. Here, ever since 1841, the pleasant jester of
Fleet Street has scared folly by the jangle of his bells and the blows
of his staff. The best and most authentic account of the origin of
_Punch_ is to be found in the following communication to _Notes and
Queries_, September 30, 1870. Mr. W.H. Wills, who was one of the
earliest contributors to _Punch_, says:--

"The idea of converting _Punch_ from a strolling to a literary laughing
philosopher belongs to Mr. Henry Mayhew, former editor (with his
schoolfellow Mr. Gilbert à Beckett) of _Figaro in London_. The first
three numbers, issued in July and August, 1841, were composed almost
entirely by that gentleman, Mr. Mark Lemon, Mr. Henry Plunkett
('Fusbos'), Mr. Stirling Coyne, and the writer of these lines. Messrs.
Mayhew and Lemon put the numbers together, but did not formally dub
themselves editors until the appearance of their 'Shilling's Worth of
Nonsense.' The cartoons, then 'Punch's Pencillings,' and the smaller
cuts, were drawn by Mr. A.S. Henning, Mr. Newman, and Mr. Alfred
Forester ('Crowquill'); later, by Mr. Hablot Browne and Mr. Kenny
Meadows. The designs were engraved by Mr. Ebenezer Landells, who
occupied also the important position of 'capitalist.' Mr. Gilbert à
Beckett's first contribution to _Punch_, 'The Above-bridge Navy,'
appeared in No. 4, with Mr. John Leech's earliest cartoon, 'Foreign
Affairs.' It was not till Mr. Leech's strong objection to treat
political subjects was overcome, that, long after, he began to
illustrate _Punch's_ pages regularly. This he did, with the brilliant
results that made his name famous, down to his untimely death. The
letterpress description of 'Foreign Affairs' was written by Mr. Percival
Leigh, who--also after an interval--steadily contributed. Mr. Douglas
Jerrold began to wield _Punch's_ baton in No. 9. His 'Peel Regularly
Called in' was the first of those withering political satires, signed
with a 'J' in the corner of each page opposite to the cartoon, that
conferred on _Punch_ a wholesome influence in politics. Mr. Albert Smith
made his _début_ in this wise:--At the birth of _Punch_ had just died a
periodical called (I think) the _Cosmorama_. When moribund, Mr. Henry
Mayhew was called in to resuscitate it. This periodical bequeathed a
comic census-paper filled up, in the character of a showman, so cleverly
that the author was eagerly sought at the starting of _Punch_. He proved
to be a medical student hailing from Chertsey, and signing the initials
A.S.--'only,' remarked Jerrold, two-thirds of the truth, perhaps.' This
pleasant supposition was, however, reversed at the very first
introduction. On that occasion Mr. Albert Smith left the 'copy' of the
opening of 'The Physiology of the London Medical Student. The writers
already named, with a few volunteers selected from the editor's box,
filled the first volume, and belonged to the ante-'B. & E.' era of
_Punch's_ history. The proprietary had hitherto consisted of Messrs.
Henry Mayhew, Lemon, Coyne, and Landells. The printer and publisher also
held shares, and were treasurers. Although the popularity of _Punch_
exceeded all expectation, the first volume ended in difficulties. From
these storm-tossed seas _Punch_ was rescued and brought into smooth
water by Messrs. Bradbury & Evans, who acquired the copyright and
organised the staff. Then it was that Mr. Mark Lemon was appointed sole
editor, a new office having been created for Mr. Henry Mayhew--that of
Suggestor-in-Chief; Mr. Mayhew's contributions, and his felicity in
inventing pictorial and in 'putting' verbal witticisms, having already
set a deep mark upon _Punch's_ success. The second volume started
merrily. Mr. John Oxenford contributed his first _jeu d'esprit_ in its
final number on 'Herr Döbler and the Candle-Counter.' Mr. Thackeray
commenced his connection in the beginning of the third volume with 'Miss
Tickletoby's Lectures on English History,' illustrated by himself. A few
weeks later a handsome young student returned from Germany. He was
heartily welcomed by his brother, Mr. Henry Mayhew, and then by the rest
of the fraternity. Mr. Horace Mayhew's diploma joke consisted, I
believe, of 'Questions addressées au Grand Concours aux Elèves d'Anglais
du Collége St. Badaud, dans le Département de la Haute Cockaigne' (vol.
iii., p. 89). Mr. Richard Doyle, Mr. Tenniel, Mr. Shirley Brooks, Mr.
Tom Taylor, and the younger celebrities who now keep _Mr. Punch_ in
vigorous and jovial vitality, joined his establishment after some of the
birth-mates had been drafted off to graver literary and other tasks."

Mr. Mark Lemon remained editor of _Punch_ from 1841 till 1870, when he
died. Mr. Gilbert à Beckett died at Boulogne in 1856. This most
accomplished and gifted writer succeeded in the more varied kinds of
composition, turning with extraordinary rapidity from a _Times_ leader
to a _Punch_ epigram.

A pamphlet attributed to Mr. Blanchard conveys, after all, the most
minute account of the origin of _Punch_. A favourite story of the
literary gossipers who have made _Mr. Punch_ their subject from time to
time, says the writer, is that he was born in a tavern parlour. The idea
usually presented to the public is, that a little society of great men
used to meet together in a private room in a tavern close to Drury Lane
Theatre--the "Crown Tavern," in Vinegar Yard. The truth is this:--

In the year 1841 there was a printing-office in a court running out of
Fleet Street--No. 3, Crane Court--wherein was carried on the business of
Mr. William Last. It was here that _Punch_ first saw the light. The
house, by the way, enjoys besides a distinction of a different
kind--that of being the birthplace of "Parr's Life Pills;" for Mr.
Herbert Ingram, who had not at that time launched the _Illustrated
London News_, nor become a member of Parliament, was then introducing
that since celebrated medicine to the public, and for that purpose had
rented some rooms on the premises of his friend Mr. Last.

The circumstance which led to _Punch's_ birth was simple enough. In
June, 1841, Mr. Last called upon Mr. Alfred Mayhew, then in the office
of his father, Mr. Joshua Mayhew, the well-known solicitor, of Carey
Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields. Mr. Mayhew was Mr. Last's legal adviser,
and Mr. Last was well acquainted with several of his sons. Upon the
occasion in question Mr. Last made some inquiries of Mr. Alfred Mayhew
concerning his brother Henry, and his occupation at the time. Mr. Henry
Mayhew had, even at his then early age, a reputation for the high
abilities which he afterwards developed, had already experience in
various departments of literature, and had exercised his projective and
inventive faculties in various ways. If his friends had heard nothing of
him for a few months, they usually found that he had a new design in
hand, which was, however, in many cases, of a more original than
practical character. Mr. Henry Mayhew, as it appeared from his brother
Alfred's reply, was not at that time engaged in any new effort of his
creative genius, and would be open to a proposal for active service.

Having obtained Mr. Henry Mayhew's address, which was in Clement's Inn,
Mr. Last called upon that gentleman on the following morning, and opened
to him a proposal for a comic and satirical journal. Henry Mayhew
readily entertained the idea; and the next question was, "Can you get up
a staff?" Henry Mayhew mentioned his friend Mark Lemon as a good
commencement; and the pair proceeded to call upon that gentleman, who
was living, not far off, in Newcastle Street, Strand. The almost
immediate result was the starting of _Punch_.

At a meeting at the "Edinburgh Castle" Mr. Mark Lemon drew up the
original prospectus. It was at first intended to call the new
publication "The Funny Dog," or "Funny Dog, with Comic Tales," and from
the first the subsidiary title of the "London Charivari" was agreed
upon. At a subsequent meeting at the printing-office, some one made some
allusion to the "Punch," and some joke about the "Lemon" in it. Henry
Mayhew, with his usual electric quickness, at once flew at the idea, and
cried out, "A good thought; we'll call it _Punch_." It was then
remembered that, years before, Douglas Jerrold had edited a _Penny
Punch_ for Mr. Duncombe, of Middle Row, Holborn, but this was thought no
objection, and the new name was carried by acclamation. It was agreed
that there should be four proprietors--Messrs. Last, Landells, Lemon,
and Mayhew. Last was to supply the printing, Landells the engraving, and
Lemon and Mayhew were to be co-editors. George Hodder, with his usual
good-nature, at once secured Mr. Percival Leigh as a contributor, and
Leigh brought in his friend Mr. John Leech, and Leech brought in Albert
Smith. Mr. Henning designed the cover. When Last had sunk £600, he sold
it to Bradbury & Evans, on receiving the amount of his then outstanding
liabilities. At the transfer, Henning and Newman both retired, Mr. Coyne
and Mr. Grattan seldom contributed, and Messrs. Mayhew and Landells also
seceded.

Mr. Hine, the artist, remained with _Punch_ for many years; and among
other artistic contributors who "came and went," to use Mr. Blanchard's
own words, we must mention Birket Foster, Alfred Crowquill, Lee,
Hamerton, John Gilbert, William Harvey, and Kenny Meadows, the last of
whom illustrated one of Jerrold's earliest series, "Punch's Letters to
His Son." _Punch's Almanac_ for 1841 was concocted for the greater part
by Dr. Maginn, who was then in the Fleet Prison, where Thackeray has
drawn him, in the character of Captain Shandon, writing the famous
prospectus for the _Pall Mall Gazette_. The earliest hits of _Punch_
were Douglas Jerrold's articles signed "J." and Gilbert à Beckett's
"Adventures of Mr. Briefless." In October, 1841, Mr. W.H. Wills,
afterwards working editor of _Household Words_ and _All the Year Round_,
commenced "Punch's Guide to the Watering-Places." In January, 1842,
Albert Smith commenced his lively "Physiology of London Evening
Parties," which were illustrated by Newman; and he wrote the "Physiology
of the London Idler," which Leech illustrated. In the third volume,
Jerrold commenced "Punch's Letters to His Son;" and in the fourth
volume, his "Story of a Feather;" Albert Smith's "Side-Scenes of
Society" carried on the social dissections of the comic physiologist,
and à Beckett began his "Heathen Mythology," and created the character
of "Jenkins," the supposed fashionable correspondent of the _Morning
Post_. _Punch_ had begun his career by ridiculing Lord Melbourne; he now
attacked Brougham, for his temporary subservience to Wellington; and
Sir James Graham came also in for a share of the rod; and the _Morning
Herald_ and _Standard_ were christened "Mrs. Gamp" and "Mrs. Harris," as
old-fogyish opponents of Peel and the Free-Traders. À Beckett's "Comic
Blackstone" proved a great hit, from its daring originality; and
incessant jokes were squibbed off on Lord John Russell, Prince Albert
(for his military tailoring), Mr. Silk Buckingham and Lord William
Lennox, Mr. Samuel Carter Hall and Mr. Harrison Ainsworth. Tennyson
once, and once only, wrote for _Punch_, a reply to Lord Lytton (then Mr.
Bulwer), who had coarsely attacked him in his "New Timon," where he had
spoken flippantly of

    "A quaint farrago of absurd conceits,
    Out-babying Wordsworth and out-glittering Keats."

The epigram ended with these bitter and contemptuous lines,--

    "A Timon you? Nay, nay, for shame!
      It looks too arrogant a jest--
    That fierce old man--to take his name,
      You bandbox! Off, and let him rest."

Albert Smith left _Punch_ many years before his death. In 1845, on his
return from the East, Mr. Thackeray began his "Jeames's Diary," and
became a regular contributor. Gilbert à Beckett was now beginning his
"Comic History of England" and Douglas Jerrold his inimitable "Caudle
Lectures." Thomas Hood occasionally contributed, but his immortal "Song
of the Shirt" was his _chef-d'oeuvre_. Coventry Patmore contributed once
to _Punch_; his verses denounced General Pellisier and his cruelty at
the caves of Dahra. Laman Blanchard occasionally wrote; his best poem
was one on the marriage and temporary retirement of charming Mrs.
Nisbett. In 1846 Thackeray's "Snobs of England" was highly successful.
Richard Doyle's "Manners and Customs of ye English" brought _Punch_ much
increase. The present cover of _Punch_ is by Doyle, who, being a zealous
Roman Catholic, eventually left _Punch_ when it began to ridicule the
Pope and condemn Papal aggression. _Punch_ in his time has had his raps,
but not many and not hard ones. Poor Angus B. Reach (whose mind went
early in life), with Albert Smith and Shirley Brooks, ridiculed _Punch_
in the _Man in the Moon_, and in 1847 the Poet Bunn--"Hot, cross
Bunn"--provoked at incessant attacks on his operatic verses, hired a man
of letters to write "A Word with _Punch_" and a few smart personalities
soon silenced the jester. "Towards 1848," says Mr. Blanchard, "Douglas
Jerrold, then writing plays and editing a magazine, began to write less
for _Punch_." In 1857 he died. Among the later additions to the staff
were Mr. Tom Taylor and Mr. Shirley Brooks.

The _Dispatch_ (No. 139, north) was established by Mr. Bell, in 1801.
Moving from Bride Lane to Newcastle Street, and thence to Wine Office
Court, it settled down in the present locality in 1824. Mr. Bell was an
energetic man, and the paper succeeded in obtaining a good position; but
he was not a man of large capital, and other persons had shares in the
property. In consequence of difficulties between the proprietors there
were at one time three _Dispatches_ in the field--Bell's, Kent's, and
Duckett's; but the two last-mentioned were short-lived, and Mr. Bell
maintained his position. Bell's was a sporting paper, with many columns
devoted to pugilism, and a woodcut exhibiting two boxers ready for an
encounter. But the editor (says a story more or less authentic), Mr.
Samuel Smith, who had obtained his post by cleverly reporting a fight
near Canterbury, one day received a severe thrashing from a famous
member of the ring. This changed the editor's opinions as to the
propriety of boxing--at any-rate pugilism was repudiated by the
_Dispatch_ about 1829; and boxing, from the _Dispatch_ point of view,
was henceforward treated as a degrading and brutal amusement, unworthy
of our civilisation.

Mr. Harmer (afterwards Alderman), a solicitor in extensive practice in
Old Bailey cases, became connected with the paper about the time when
the Fleet Street office was established, and contributed capital, which
soon bore fruit. The success was so great, that for many years the
_Dispatch_ as a property was inferior only to the _Times_. It became
famous for its letters on political subjects. The original "Publicola"
was Mr. Williams, a violent and coarse but very vigorous and popular
writer. He wrote weekly for about sixteen or seventeen years, and after
his death the signature was assumed by Mr. Fox, the famous orator and
member for Oldham. Other writers also borrowed the well-known signature.
Eliza Cooke wrote in the _Dispatch_ in 1836, at first signing her poems
"E." and "E.C."; but in the course of the following year her name
appeared in full. She contributed a poem weekly for several years,
relinquishing her connection with the paper in 1850. Afterwards, in
1869, when the property changed hands, she wrote two or three poems.
Under the signature "Caustic," Mr. Serle, the dramatic author and
editor, contributed a weekly letter for about twenty-seven years; and
from 1856 till 1869 was editor-in chief. In 1841-42 the _Dispatch_ had a
hard-fought duel with the _Times_. "Publicola" wrote a series of
letters, which had the effect of preventing the election of Mr. Walter
for Southwark. The _Times_ retaliated when the time came for Alderman
Harmer to succeed to the lord mayoralty. Day after day the _Times_
returned to the attack, denouncing the _Dispatch_ as an infidel paper;
and Alderman Harmer, rejected by the City, resigned in consequence his
aldermanic gown. In 1857 the _Dispatch_ commenced the publication of its
famous "Atlas," giving away a good map weekly for about five years. The
price was reduced from fivepence to twopence, at the beginning of 1869,
and to a penny in 1870.

[Illustration: ST. BRIDE'S CHURCH, FLEET STREET, AFTER THE FIRE, 1824
(_see page 56_).]

The _Daily Telegraph_ office is No. 136 (north). Mr. Ingram, of the
_Illustrated London News_, originated a paper called the _Telegraph_,
which lasted only seven or eight weeks. The present _Daily Telegraph_
was started on June 29, 1855, by the late Colonel Sleigh. It was a
single sheet, and the price twopence. Colonel Sleigh failing to make it
a success, Mr. Levy, the present chief proprietor of the paper, took the
copyright as part security for money owed him by Colonel Sleigh. In Mr.
Levy's hands the paper, reduced to a penny, became a great success. "It
was," says Mr. Grant, in his "History of the Newspaper Press," "the
first of the penny papers, while a single sheet, and as such was
regarded as a newspaper marvel; but when it came out--which it did soon
after the _Standard_--as a double sheet the size of the _Times_,
published at fourpence, for a penny, it created quite a sensation. Here
was a penny paper, containing not only the same amount of telegraphic
and general information as the other high-priced papers--their price
being then fourpence--but also evidently written, in its leading article
department, with an ability which could only be surpassed by that of the
leading articles of the _Times_ itself. This was indeed a new era in the
morning journalism of the metropolis." When Mr. Levy bought the
_Telegraph_, the sum which he received for advertisements in the first
number was exactly 7s. 6d. The daily receipts for advertisements are now
said to exceed £500. Mr. Grant says that the remission of the tax on
paper brought £12,000 a year extra to the _Telegraph_. Ten pages for a
penny is no uncommon thing with the _Telegraph_ during the Parliamentary
session. The returns of sales given by the _Telegraph_ for the half-year
ending 1870 show an average daily sale of 190,885; and though this was
war time, a competent authority estimates the average daily sale at
175,000 copies. One of the printing-machines recently set up by the
proprietors of the _Telegraph_ throws off upwards of 200 copies per
minute, or 12,000 an hour.

[Illustration: WAITHMAN'S SHOP (_see page 66_).]

The "Globe Tavern" (No. 134, north), though now only a memory, abounds
with traditions of Goldsmith and his motley friends. The house, in 1649,
was leased to one Henry Hottersall for forty-one years, at the yearly
rent of £75, ten gallons of Canary sack, and £400 fine. Mr. John Forster
gives a delightful sketch of Goldsmith's Wednesday evening club at the
"Globe," in 1767. When not at Johnson's great club, Oliver beguiled his
cares at a shilling rubber club at the "Devil Tavern," or at a humble
gathering in the parlour of the "Bedford," Covent Garden. A hanger-on of
the theatres, who frequented the "Globe," has left notes which Mr.
Forster has admirably used, and which we now abridge without further
apology. Grim old Macklin belonged to the club it is certain; and among
the less obscure members was King, the comedian, the celebrated
impersonator of Lord Ogleby. Hugh Kelly, another member, was a clever
young Irishman, who had chambers near Goldsmith in the Temple. He had
been a stay-maker's apprentice, who, turning law writer, and soon
landing as a hack for the magazines, set up as a satirist for the stage,
and eventually, through Garrick's patronage, succeeded in sentimental
comedy. It was of him Johnson said, "Sir, I never desire to converse
with a man who has written more than he has read." Poor Kelly afterwards
went to the Bar, and died of disappointment and over-work. A third
member was Captain Thompson, a friend of Garrick's, who wrote some good
sea songs and edited "Andrew Marvell;" but foremost among all the boon
companions was a needy Irish doctor named Glover, who had appeared on
the stage, and who was said to have restored to life a man who had been
hung; this Glover, who was famous for his songs and imitations, once had
the impudence, like Theodore Hook, to introduce Goldsmith, during a
summer ramble in Hampstead, to a party where he was an entire stranger,
and to pass himself off as a friend of the host. "Our Dr. Glover," says
Goldsmith, "had a constant levee of his distressed countrymen, whose
wants, as far as he was able, he always relieved." Gordon, the fattest
man in the club, was renowned for his jovial song of "Nottingham Ale;"
and on special occasions Goldsmith himself would sing his favourite
nonsense about the little old woman who was tossed seventeen times
higher than the moon. A fat pork-butcher at the "Globe" used to offend
Goldsmith by constantly shouting out, "Come, Noll, here's my service to
you, old boy." After the success of _The Good-natured Man_, this coarse
familiarity was more than Goldsmith's vanity could bear, so one special
night he addressed the butcher with grave reproof. The stolid man,
taking no notice, replied briskly, "Thankee, Mister Noll." "Well, where
is the advantage of your reproof?" asked Glover. "In truth," said
Goldsmith, good-naturedly, "I give it up; I ought to have known before
that there is no putting a pig in the right way." Sometimes rather cruel
tricks were played on the credulous poet. One evening Goldsmith came in
clamorous for his supper, and ordered chops. Directly the supper came
in, the wags, by pre-agreement, began to sniff and swear. Some pushed
the plate away; others declared the rascal who had dared set such chops
before a gentleman should be made to swallow them himself. The waiter
was savagely rung up, and forced to eat the supper, to which he
consented with well-feigned reluctance, the poet calmly ordering a fresh
supper and a dram for the poor waiter, "who otherwise might get sick
from so nauseating a meal." Poor Goldy! kindly even at his most foolish
moments. A sadder story still connects Goldsmith with the "Globe." Ned
Purdon, a worn-out booksellers' hack and a _protégé_ of Goldsmith's,
dropped down dead in Smithfield. Goldsmith wrote his epitaph as he came
from his chambers in the Temple to the "Globe." The lines are:--

    "Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,
      Who long was a booksellers' hack;
    He led such a miserable life in this world,
      I don't think he'll wish to come back."

Goldsmith sat next Glover that night at the club, and Glover heard the
poet repeat, _sotto voce_, with a mournful intonation, the words,--

    "I don't think he'll wish to come back."

Oliver was musing over his own life, and Mr. Forster says touchingly,
"It is not without a certain pathos to me, indeed, that he should have
so repeated it."

Among other frequenters of the "Globe" were Boswell's friend Akerman,
the keeper of Newgate, who always thought it prudent never to return
home till daybreak; and William Woodfall, the celebrated Parliamentary
reporter. In later times Brasbridge, the sporting silversmith of Fleet
Street, was a frequenter of the club. He tells us that among his
associates was a surgeon, who, living on the Surrey side of the Thames,
had to take a boat every night (Blackfriar's Bridge not being then
built). This nightly navigation cost him three or four shillings a time,
yet, when the bridge came, he grumbled at having to pay a penny toll.
Among other frequenters of the "Globe," Mr. Timbs enumerates "Archibald
Hamilton, whose mind was 'fit for a lord chancellor;' Dunstall, the
comedian; Carnan, the bookseller, who defeated the Stationers' Company
in the almanack trial; and, later still, the eccentric Hugh Evelyn, who
set up a claim upon the great Surrey estate of Sir Frederic Evelyn."

The _Standard_ (No. 129, north), "the largest daily paper," was
originally an evening paper alone. In 1826 a deputation of the leading
men opposed to Catholic Emancipation waited on Mr. Charles Baldwin,
proprietor of the _St. James's Chronicle_, and begged him to start an
anti-Catholic evening paper, but Mr. Baldwin refused unless a
preliminary sum of £15,000 was lodged at the banker's. A year later this
sum was deposited, and in 1827 the _Evening Standard_, edited by Dr.
Giffard, ex-editor of the _St. James's Chronicle_, appeared. Mr. Alaric
Watts, the poet, was succeeded as sub-editor of the _Standard_ by the
celebrated Dr. Maginn. The daily circulation soon rose from 700 or 800
copies to 3,000 and over. The profits Mr. Grant calculates at £7,000 to
£8,000 a year. On the bankruptcy of Mr. Charles Baldwin, Mr. James
Johnson bought the _Morning Herald_ and _Standard_, plant and all, for
£16,500. The proprietor reduced the _Standard_ from fourpence to
twopence, and made it a morning as well as an evening paper. In 1858 he
reduced it to a penny only. The result was a great success. The annual
income of the _Standard_ is now, Mr. Grant says, "much exceeding yearly
the annual incomes of most of the ducal dignities of the land." The
legend of the Duke of Newcastle presenting Dr. Giffard, in 1827, with
£1,200 for a violent article against Roman Catholic claims, has been
denied by Dr. Giffard's son in the _Times_. The Duke of Wellington once
wrote to Dr. Giffard to dictate the line the _Standard_ and _Morning
Herald_ were to adopt on a certain question during the agitation on the
Maynooth Bill; and Dr. Giffard withdrew his opposition to please Sir
Robert Peel--a concession which injured the _Standard_. Yet in the
following year, when Sir Robert Peel brought in his Bill for the
abolition of the corn laws, he did not even pay Dr. Giffard the
compliment of apprising him of his intention. Such is official gratitude
when a tool is done with.

Near Shoe Lane lived one of Caxton's disciples. Wynkyn de Worde, who is
supposed to have been one of Caxton's assistants or workmen, was a
native of Lorraine. He carried on a prosperous career, says Dibdin, from
1502 to 1534, at the sign of the "Sun," in the parish of St. Bride's,
Fleet Street. In upwards of four hundred works published by this
industrious man he displayed unprecedented skill, elegance, and care,
and his Gothic type was considered a pattern for his successors. The
books that came from his press were chiefly grammars, romances, legends
of the saints, and fugitive poems; he never ventured on an English New
Testament, nor was any drama published bearing his name. His great
patroness, Margaret, the mother of Henry VII., seems to have had little
taste to guide De Worde in his selection, for he never reprinted the
works of Chaucer or of Gower; nor did his humble patron, Robert Thorney,
the mercer, lead him in a better direction. De Worde filled his
black-letter books with rude engravings, which he used so
indiscriminately that the same cut often served for books of a totally
opposite character. By some writers De Worde is considered to be the
first introducer of Roman letters into this country; but the honour of
that mode of printing is now generally claimed by Pynson, a
contemporary. Among other works published by De Worde were "The Ship of
Fools," that great satire that was so long popular in England;
Mandeville's lying "Travels;" "La Morte d'Arthur" (from which Tennyson
has derived so much inspiration); "The Golden Legend;" and those curious
treatises on "Hunting, Hawking, and Fishing," partly written by Johanna
Berners, a prioress of St. Alban's. In De Worde's "Collection of
Christmas Carols" we find the words of that fine old song, still sung
annually at Queen's College, Oxford,--

    "The boar's head in hand bring I,
    With garlands gay and rosemary."

De Worde also published some writings of Erasmus. The old printer was
buried in the parish church of St. Bride's, before the high altar of St.
Katherine; and he left land to the parish so that masses should be said
for his soul. To his servants, not forgetting his bookbinder, Nowel, in
Shoe Lane, he bequeathed books. De Worde lived near the Conduit, a
little west of Shoe Lane. This conduit, which was begun in the year 1439
by Sir William Estfielde, a former Lord Mayor, and finished in 1471,
was, according to Stow's account, a stone tower, with images of St.
Christopher on the top and angels, who, on sweet-sounding bells, hourly
chimed a hymn with hammers, thus anticipating the wonders of St.
Dunstan's. These London conduits were great resorts for the apprentices,
whom their masters sent with big leather and metal jugs to bring home
the daily supply of water. Here these noisy, quarrelsome young rascals
stayed to gossip, idle, and fight. At the coronation of Anne Boleyn this
conduit was newly painted, all the arms and angels refreshed, and "the
music melodiously sounding." Upon the conduit was raised a tower with
four turrets, and in every turret stood one of the cardinal virtues,
promising never to leave the queen, while, to the delight and wonder of
thirsty citizens, the taps ran with claret and red wine. Fleet Street,
according to Mr. Noble, was supplied with water in the Middle Ages from
the conduit at Marylebone and the holy wells of St. Clement's and St.
Bridget's. The tradition is that the latter well was drained dry for the
supply of the coronation banquet of George IV. As early as 1358 the
inhabitants of Fleet Street complained of aqueduct pipes bursting and
flooding their cellars, upon which they were allowed the privilege of
erecting a pent-house over an aqueduct opposite the tavern of John
Walworth, and near the house of the Bishop of Salisbury. In 1478 a Fleet
Street wax-chandler, having been detected tapping the conduit pipes for
his own use, was sentenced to ride through the City with a vessel shaped
like a conduit on his felonious head, and the City crier walking before
him to proclaim his offence.

The "Castle Tavern," mentioned as early as 1432, stood at the south-west
corner of Shoe Lane. Here the Clockmakers' Company held their meetings
before the Great Fire, and in 1708 the "Castle" possessed the largest
sign in London. Early in the last century, says Mr. Noble, its
proprietor was Alderman Sir John Task, a wine merchant, who died in 1735
(George II.), worth, it was understood, a quarter of a million of money.

The _Morning Advertiser_ (No. 127, north) was established in 1794, by
the Society of Licensed Victuallers, on the mutual benefit society
principle. Every member is bound to take in the paper and is entitled to
a share in its profits. Members unsuccessful in business become
pensioners on the funds of the institution. The paper, which took the
place of the _Daily Advertiser_, and was the suggestion of Mr. Grant, a
master printer, was an immediate success. Down to 1850 the _Morning
Advertiser_ circulated chiefly in public-houses and coffee-houses at the
rate of nearly 5,000 copies a day. But in 1850, the circulation
beginning to decline, the committee resolved to enlarge the paper to the
size of the _Times_, and Mr. James Grant was appointed editor. The
profits now increased, and the paper found its way to the clubs. The
late Lord Brougham and Sir David Brewster contributed to the
_Advertiser_; and the letters signed "An Englishman" excited much
interest. This paper has always been Liberal. Mr. Grant remained the
editor for twenty years.

No. 91 (south side) was till lately the office of that old-established
paper, _Bell's Weekly Messenger_. Mr. Bell, the spirited publisher who
founded this paper, is delightfully sketched by Leigh Hunt in his
autobiography.

"About the period of my writing the above essays," he says, in his easy
manner, "circumstances introduced me to the acquaintance of Mr. Bell,
the proprietor of the _Weekly Messenger_. In his house, in the Strand, I
used to hear of politics and dramatic criticisms, and of the persons who
wrote them. Mr. Bell had been well known as a bookseller and a
speculator in elegant typography. It is to him the public are indebted
for the small editions of the poets that preceded Cooke's. Bell was,
upon the whole, a remarkable person. He was a plain man, with a red face
and a nose exaggerated by intemperance; and yet there was something not
unpleasing in his countenance, especially when he spoke. He had
sparkling black eyes, a good-natured smile, gentlemanly manners, and one
of the most agreeable voices I ever heard. He had no acquirements--perhaps
not even grammar; but his taste in putting forth a publication and getting
the best artists to adorn it was new in those times, and may be admired
in any. Unfortunately for Mr. Bell, the Prince of Wales, to whom he was
bookseller, once did him the honour to partake of an entertainment or
refreshment (I forget which--most probably the latter) at his house. He
afterwards became a bankrupt. After his bankruptcy he set up a newspaper,
which became profitable to everybody but himself."[2]

No. 93, Fleet Street (south side) is endeared to us by its connection
with Charles Lamb. At that number, in 1823, that great humorist, the
king of all London clerks that ever were or will be, published his
"Elia," a collection of essays immortal as the language, full of quaint
and tender thoughts and gleaming with cross-lights of humour as shot
silk does with interchanging colours. In 1821, when the first editor was
shot in a duel, the _London Magazine_ fell into the hands of Messrs.
Taylor & Hessey, of No. 93; but they published the excellent periodical
and gave their "magazine dinners" at their publishing house in Waterloo
Place.

Mr. John Scott, a man of great promise, the editor of the _London_ for
the first publishers--Messrs. Baldwin, Cradock, & Joy--met with a very
tragic death in 1821. The duel in which he fell arose from a quarrel
between the men on the _London_ and the clever but bitter and
unscrupulous writers in _Blackwood_, started in 1817. Lockhart, who had
cruelly maligned Leigh Hunt and his set (the "Cockney School," as the
Scotch Tories chose to call them), was sharply attacked in the _London_.
Fiery and vindictive Lockhart flew at once up to town, and angrily
demanded from Mr. Scott, the editor, an explanation, an apology, or a
meeting. Mr. Scott declined giving an apology unless Mr. Lockhart would
first deny that he was editor of _Blackwood_. Lockhart refused to give
this denial, and retorted by expressing a mean opinion of Mr. Scott's
courage. Lockhart and Scott both printed contradictory versions of the
quarrel, which worked up till at last Mr. Christie, a friend of
Lockhart's, challenged Scott; and they met at Chalk Farm by moonlight on
February 16th, at nine o'clock at night, attended by their seconds and
surgeons, in the old business-like, bloodthirsty way. The first time Mr.
Christie did not fire at Mr. Scott, a fact of which Mr. Patmore, the
author, Scott's second, with most blamable indiscretion, did not inform
his principal. At the second fire Christie's ball struck Scott just
above the right hip, and he fell. He lingered till the 27th. It was
said at the time that Hazlitt, perhaps unintentionally, had driven Scott
to fight by indirect taunts. "I don't pretend," Hazlitt is reported to
have said, "to hold the principles of honour which you hold. I would
neither give nor accept a challenge. You hold the opinions of the world;
with you it is different. As for me, it would be nothing. I do not think
as you and the world think," and so on. Poor Scott, not yet forty, had
married the pretty daughter of Colnaghi, the printseller in Pall Mall,
and left two children.

For the five years it lasted, perhaps no magazine--not even the mighty
_Maga_ itself--ever drew talent towards it with such magnetic
attraction. In Mr. Barry Cornwall's delightful memoir of his old friend
Lamb, written when the writer was in his seventy-third year, he has
summarised the writers on the _London_, and shown how deep and varied
was the intellect brought to bear on its production. First of all he
mentions poor Scott, a shrewd, critical, rather hasty man, who wrote
essays on Sir Walter Scott, Wordsworth, Godwin, Byron, Keats, Shelley,
Leigh Hunt, and Hazlitt, his wonderful contemporaries, in a fruitful
age. Hazlitt, glowing and capricious, produced the twelve essays of his
"Table Talk," many dramatic articles, and papers on Beckford's Fonthill,
the Angerstein pictures, and the Elgin marbles--pages wealthy with
thought. Lamb contributed in three years all the matchless essays of
"Elia." Mr. Thomas Carlyle, then only a promising young Scotch
philosopher, wrote several articles on the "Life and Writings of
Schiller." Mr. de Quincey, that subtle thinker and bitter Tory,
contributed his wonderful "Confessions of an Opium-Eater." That learned
and amiable man, the Rev. H.F. Cary, the translator of Dante, wrote
several interesting notices of early French poets. Allan Cunningham, the
vigorous Scottish bard, sent the romantic "Tales of Lyddal Cross" and a
series of papers styled "Traditional Literature." Mr. John
Poole--recently deceased, 1872--(the author of _Paul Pry_ and that
humorous novel, "Little Pedlington," which is supposed to have furnished
Mr. Charles Dickens with some suggestions for "Pickwick") wrote
burlesque imitations of contemporaneous dramatic writers--Morton,
Dibdin, Reynolds, Moncrieff, &c. Mr. J.H. Reynolds wrote, under the name
of Henry Herbert, notices of contemporaneous events, such as a scene at
the Cockpit, the trial of Thurtell (a very powerful article), &c. That
delightful punster and humorist, with pen or pencil, Tom Hood, sent to
the _London_ his first poems of any ambition or length--"Lycus the
Centaur," and "The Two Peacocks of Bedfont." Keats, "that sleepless soul
that perished in its pride," and Montgomery, both contributed poems. Sir
John Bowring, the accomplished linguist, wrote on Spanish poetry. Mr.
Henry Southern, the editor of that excellent work the _Retrospective
Review_, contributed "The Conversations of Lord Byron." Mr. Walter
Savage Landor, that very original and eccentric thinker, published in
the extraordinary magazine one of his admirable "Imaginary
Conversations." Mr. Julius (afterwards Archdeacon) Hare reviewed the
robust works of Landor. Mr. Elton contributed graceful translations from
Catullus, Propertius, &c. Even among the lesser contributors there were
very eminent writers, not forgetting Barry Cornwall, Hartley Coleridge,
John Clare, the Northamptonshire peasant poet; and Bernard Barton, the
Quaker poet. Nor must we omit that strange contrast to these
pure-hearted and wise men, "Janus Weathercock" (Wainwright), the
polished villain who murdered his young niece and most probably several
other friends and relations, for the money insured upon their lives.
This gay and evil being, by no means a dull writer upon art and the
drama, was much liked by Lamb and the Russell Street set. The news of
his cold-blooded crimes (transpiring in 1837) seem to have struck a deep
horror among all the scoundrel's fashionable associates. Although when
arrested in France it was discovered that Wainwright habitually carried
strychnine about with him, he was only tried for forgery, and for that
offence transported for life.

A fine old citizen of the last century, Joseph Brasbridge, who published
his memoirs, kept a silversmith's shop at No. 98, several doors from
Alderman Waithman's. At one time Brasbridge confesses he divided his
time between the tavern club, the card party, the hunt, and the fight,
and left his shop to be looked after by others, whilst he decided on the
respective merits of Humphries and Mendoza, Cribb and Big Ben. Among
Brasbridge's early customers were the Duke of Marlborough, the Duke of
Argyle, and other men of rank, and he glories in having once paid an
elaborate compliment to Lady Hamilton. The most curious story in
Brasbridge's "Fruits of Experience" is the following, various versions
of which have been paraphrased by modern writers. A surgeon in Gough
Square had purchased for dissection the body of a man who had been
hanged at Tyburn. The servant girl, wishing to look at the corpse, stole
upstairs in the doctor's absence, and, to her horror, found the body
sitting up on the board, wondering where it was. The girl almost threw
herself down the stairs in her fright. The surgeon, on learning of the
resuscitation of his subject, humanely concealed the man in the house
till he could fit him out for America. The fellow proved as clever and
industrious as he was grateful, and having amassed a fortune, he
eventually left it all to his benefactor. The sequel is still more
curious. The surgeon dying some years after, his heirs were advertised
for. A shoemaker at Islington eventually established a claim and
inherited the money. Mean in prosperity, the _ci-devant_ shoemaker then
refused to pay the lawyer's bill, and, moreover, called him a rogue. The
enraged lawyer replied, "I have put you into possession of this property
by my exertions, now I will spend £100 out of my own pocket to take it
away again, for you are not deserving of it." The lawyer accordingly
advertised again for the surgeon's nearest of kin; Mr. Willcocks, a
bookseller in the Strand, then came forward, and deposed that his wife
and her mother, he remembered, used to visit the surgeon in Gough
Square. On inquiry Mrs. Willcocks was proved the next of kin, and the
base shoemaker returned to his last. The lucky Mr. Willcocks was the
good-natured bookseller who lent Johnson and Garrick, when they first
came up to London to seek their fortunes, £5 on their joint note.

[Illustration: ALDERMAN WAITHMAN, FROM AN AUTHENTIC PORTRAIT (_see page
68_).]

Nos. 103 (now the _Sunday Times_ office) and 104 were the shop of that
bustling politician Alderman Waithman; and to his memory was erected the
obelisk on the site of his first shop, formerly the north-west end of
Fleet Market. Waithman, according to Mr. Timbs, had a genius for the
stage, and especially shone as Macbeth. He was uncle to John Reeve, the
comic actor. Cobbett, who hated Waithman, has left a portrait of the
alderman, written in his usual racy English. "Among these persons," he
says, talking of the Princess Caroline agitation, in 1813, "there was a
common councilman named Robert Waithman, a man who for many years had
taken a conspicuous part in the politics of the City; a man not
destitute of the powers of utterance, and a man of sound principles
also. But a man so enveloped, so completely swallowed up by
self-conceit, who, though perfectly illiterate, though unable to give to
three consecutive sentences a grammatical construction, seemed to look
upon himself as the first orator, the first writer, and the first
statesman of the whole world. He had long been the cock of the
Democratic party in the City; he was a great speech-maker; could make
very free with facts, and when it suited his purpose could resort to as
foul play as most men." According to Cobbett, who grows more than
usually virulent on the occasion, Waithman, vexed that Alderman Wood had
been the first to propose an address of condolence to the Princess at
the Common Council, opposed it, and was defeated. As Cobbett says, "He
then checked himself, endeavoured to recover his ground, floundered
about got some applause by talking about rotten boroughs and
parliamentary reform. But all in vain. Then rose cries of 'No, no! the
address--the address!' which appear to have stung him to the quick. His
face, which was none of the whitest, assumed a ten times darker die. His
look was furious, while he uttered the words, 'I am sorry that my
well-weighed opinions are in opposition to the general sentiment so
hastily adopted; but I hope the Livery will consider the necessity of
preserving its character for purity and wisdom.'" On the appointed day
the Princess was presented with the address, to the delight of the more
zealous Radicals. The procession of more than one hundred carriages came
back past Carlton House on their return from Kensington, the people
groaning and hissing to torment the Regent.

[Illustration: GROUP AT HARDHAM'S TOBACCO SHOP (_see page 69_).]

Brasbridge, the Tory silversmith of Fleet Street, writes very
contemptuously in his autobiography of Waithman. Sneering at his boast
of reading, he says: "I own my curiosity was a little excited to know
when and where he began his studies. It could not be in his shop in
Fleet Market, for there he was too busily employed in attending to the
fishwomen and other ladies connected with the business of the market.
Nor could it be at the corner of Fleet Street, where he was always no
less assiduously engaged in ticketing his super-super calicoes at two
and two pence, and cutting them off for two and twenty pence." According
to Brasbridge, Waithman made his first speech in 1792, in Founder's
Hall, Lothbury, "called by some at that time the cauldron of sedition."
Waithman was Lord Mayor in 1823-24, and was returned to Parliament five
times for the City. The portrait of Waithman on page 66, and the view of
his shop, page 61, are taken from pictures in Mr. Gardiner's magnificent
collection.

A short biography of this civic orator will not be
uninteresting:--Robert Waithman was born of humble parentage, at
Wrexham, in North Wales. Becoming an orphan when only four months old,
he was placed at the school of a Mr. Moore by his uncle, on whose death,
about 1778, he obtained a situation at Reading, whence he proceeded to
London, and entered into the service of a respectable linendraper, with
whom he continued till he became of age. He then entered into business
at the south end of Fleet Market, whence, some years afterwards, he
removed to the corner of New Bridge Street. He appears to have commenced
his political career about 1792, at the oratorical displays made in
admiration and imitation of the proceedings of the French
revolutionists, at Founder's Hall, in Lothbury. In 1794 he brought
forward a series of resolutions, at a common hall, animadverting upon
the war with revolutionised France, and enforcing the necessity of a
reform in Parliament. In 1796 he was first elected a member of the
Common Council for the Ward of Farringdon Without, and became a very
frequent speaker in that public body. It was supposed that Mr. Fox
intended to have rewarded his political exertions by the place of
Receiver-General of the Land Tax. In 1818, after having been defeated on
several previous occasions, he was elected as one of the representatives
in Parliament of the City of London, defeating the old member, Sir
William Curtis.

Very shortly after, on the 4th of August, he was elected Alderman of his
ward, on the death of Sir Charles Price, Bart. On the 25th of January,
1819, he made his maiden speech in Parliament, on the presentation of a
petition praying for a revision of the criminal code, the existing state
of which he severely censured. At the ensuing election of 1820 the
friends of Sir William Curtis turned the tables upon him, Waithman being
defeated. In this year, however, he attained the honour of the
shrievalty; and in October, 1823, he was chosen Lord Mayor. In 1826 he
stood another contest for the City, with better success. In 1830, 1831,
and 1832 he obtained his re-election with difficulty; but in 1831 he
suffered a severe disappointment in losing the chamberlainship, in the
competition for which Sir James Shaw obtained a large majority of votes.

We subjoin the remarks made on his death by the editor of the _Times_
newspaper:--"The magistracy of London has been deprived of one of its
most respectable members, and the City of one of its most upright
representatives. Everybody knows that Mr. Alderman Waithman has filled a
large space in City politics; and most people who were acquainted with
him will be ready to admit that, had his early education been better
directed, or his early circumstances more favourable to his ambition, he
might have become an important man in a wider and higher sphere. His
natural parts, his political integrity, his consistency of conduct, and
the energy and perseverance with which he performed his duties, placed
him far above the common run of persons whose reputation is gained by
their oratorical displays at meetings of the Common Council. In looking
back at City proceedings for the last thirty-five or forty years, we
find him always rising above his rivals as the steady and consistent
advocate of the rights of his countrymen and the liberties and
privileges of his fellow-citizens."

There is a curious story told of the Fleet Street crossing, opposite
Waithman's corner. It was swept for years by an old black man named
Charles M'Ghee, whose father had died in Jamaica at the age of 108.
According to Mr. Noble, when he laid down his broom he sold his
professional right for £1,000 (£100?). Retiring into private life much
respected, he was always to be seen on Sundays at Rowland Hill's chapel.
When in his seventy-third year his portrait was taken and hung in the
parlour of the "Twelve Bells," Bride Lane. To Miss Waithman, who used to
send him out soup and bread, he is, untruly, said to have left £7,000.

Mr. Diprose, in his "History of St. Clement," tells us more of this
black sweeper. "Brutus Billy," or "Tim-buc-too," as he was generally
called, lived in a passage leading from Stanhope Street into Drury Lane.
He was a short, thick-set man, with his white-grey hair carefully
brushed up into a toupee, the fashion of his youth. He was found in his
shop, as he called his crossing, in all weathers, and was invariably
civil. At night, after he had shut up shop (swept mud over his
crossing), he carried round a basket of nuts and fruit to places of
public entertainment, so that in time he laid by a considerable amount
of money. Brutus Billy was brimful of story and anecdote. He died in
Chapel Court in 1854, in his eighty-seventh year. This worthy man was
perhaps the model for Billy Waters, the negro beggar in _Tom and Jerry_,
who is so indignant at the beggars' supper on seeing "a turkey without
sassenges."

In Garrick's time John Hardham, the well-known tobacconist, opened a
shop at No. 106. There, at the sign of the "Red Lion," Hardham's
Highlander kept steady guard at a doorway through which half the
celebrities of the day made their exits and entrances. His celebrated
"No. 37" snuff was said, like the French millefleur, to be composed of a
great number of ingredients, and Garrick in his kind way helped it into
fashion by mentioning it favourably on the stage. Hardham, a native of
Chichester, began life as a servant, wrote a comedy, acted, and at last
became Garrick's "numberer," having a general's quick _coup d'oeil_ at
gauging an audience, and so checking the money-takers. Garrick once
became his security for a hundred pounds, but eventually Hardham grew
rich, and died in 1772, bequeathing £22,289 to Chichester, 10 guineas to
Garrick, and merely setting apart £10 for his funeral, only vain fools,
as he said, spending more. We can fancy the great actors of that day
seated on Hardham's tobacco-chests discussing the drollery of Foote or
the vivacity of Clive.

"It has long been a source of inquiry," says a writer in the _City
Press_, "whence the origin of the cognomen, 'No. 37,' to the celebrated
snuff compounded still under the name of John Hardham, in Fleet Street.
There is a tradition that Lord Townsend, on being applied to by Hardham,
whom he patronised, to name the snuff, suggested the cabalistic number
of 37, it being the exact number of a majority obtained in some
proceedings in the Irish Parliament during the time he was Lord
Lieutenant there, and which was considered a triumph for his Government.
The dates, however, do not serve this theory, as Lord Townsend was not
viceroy till the years 1767-72, when the snuff must have been well
established in public fame and Hardham in the last years of his life. It
has already been printed elsewhere that, on the famed snuff coming out
in the first instance, David Garrick, hearing of it, called in Fleet
Street, as he was wont frequently to do, and offered to bring it under
the public notice in the most effectual manner, by introducing an
incident in a new comedy then about to be produced by him, where he
would, in his part in the play, offer another character a pinch of
snuff, who would extol its excellence, whereupon Garrick arranged to
continue the conversation by naming the snuff as the renowned '37 of
John Hardham.' But the enigma, even now, is not solved; so we will, for
what it may be worth, venture our own explanation. It is well known that
in most of the celebrated snuffs before the public a great variety of
qualities and descriptions of tobacco, and of various ages, are
introduced. Hardham, like the rest, never told his secret how the snuff
was made, but left it as a heritage to his successors. It is very
probable, therefore, that the mystic figures, 37, we have quoted
represented the number of qualities, growths, and description of the
'fragrant weed' introduced by him into his snuff, and may be regarded as
a sort of appellative rebus, or conceit, founded thereon."[3]

But Hardham occupied himself in other ways than in the making of snuff
and of money--for the Chichester youth had now grown wealthy--and in
extending his circle of acquaintances amongst dramatists and players; he
was abundantly distinguished for Christian charity, for, in the language
of a contemporary writer, we find that "his deeds in that respect were
extensive," and his bounty "was conveyed to many of the objects of it in
the most delicate manner." From the same authority we find that Hardham
once failed in business (we presume, as a lapidary) more creditably than
he could have made a fortune by it. This spirit of integrity, which
remained a remarkable feature in his character throughout life, induced
him to be often resorted to by his wealthy patrons as trustee for the
payment of their bounties to deserving objects; in many cases the
patrons died before the recipients of their relief. With Hardham,
however, this made no difference; the annuities once granted, although
stopped by the decease of the donors, were paid ever after by Hardham so
long as he lived; and his delicacy of feeling induced him even to
persuade the recipients into the belief that they were still derived
from the same source.

No. 102 (south) was opened as a shop, in 1719, by one Lockyer, who
called it "Mount Pleasant." It then became a "saloop-house," where the
poor purchased a beverage made out of sassafras chips. The proprietor,
who began life, as Mr. Noble says, with half-a-crown, died in March,
1739, worth £1,000. Thomas Read was a later tenant. Charles Lamb
mentions "saloop" in one of his essays, and says, "Palates otherwise not
uninstructed in dietetical elegancies sup it up with avidity."
Chimney-sweeps, beloved by Lamb, approved it, and eventually stalls were
set up in the streets, as at present to reach even humbler customers.

FOOTNOTES:

[2] An intelligent compositor (Mr. J.P.S. Bicknell), who has been a
noter of curious passages in his time, informs me that Bell was the
first printer who confined the small letter "s" to its present shape,
and rejected altogether the older form "s." [Transcriber's Note: "s."
refers to the long s of Early English]

[3] The real fact is, the famous snuff was merely called from the number
of the drawer that held it.




CHAPTER VI.

FLEET STREET (NORTHERN TRIBUTARIES--SHOE LANE AND BELL YARD).

    The Kit-Kat Club--The Toast for the Year--Little Lady Mary--Drunken
    John Sly--Garth's Patients--Club removed to Barn Elms--Steele at the
    "Trumpet"--Rogues' Lane--Murder--Beggars' Haunts--Thieves'
    Dens--Coiners--Theodore Hook in Hemp's Sponging-house--Pope in Bell
    Yard--Minor Celebrities--Apollo Court.


Opposite Child's Bank, and almost within sound of the jingle of its
gold, once stood Shire Lane, afterwards known as Lower Serle's Place. It
latterly became a dingy, disreputable defile, where lawyers' clerks and
the hangers-on of the law-courts were often allured and sometimes
robbed; yet it had been in its day a place of great repute. In this lane
the Kit-Kat, the great club of Queen Anne's reign, held its sittings, at
the "Cat and Fiddle," the shop of a pastrycook named Christopher Kat.
The house, according to local antiquaries, afterwards became the
"Trumpet," a tavern mentioned by Steele in the _Tatler_, and latterly
known as the "Duke of York." The Kit-Kats were originally Whig patriots,
who, at the end of King William's reign, met in this out-of-the-way
place to devise measures to secure the Protestant succession and keep
out the pestilent Stuarts. Latterly they assembled for simple enjoyment;
and there have been grave disputes as to whether the club took its name
from the punning sign, the "Cat and Kit," or from the favourite pies
which Christopher Kat had christened; and as this question will probably
last the antiquaries another two centuries, we leave it alone. According
to some verses by Arbuthnot, the chosen friend of Pope and Swift, the
question was mooted even in his time, as if the very founders of the
club had forgotten. Some think that the club really began with a weekly
dinner given by Jacob Tonson, the great bookseller of Gray's Inn Lane,
to his chief authors and patrons. This Tonson, one of the patriarchs of
English booksellers, who published Dryden's "Virgil," purchased a share
of Milton's works, and first made Shakespeare's works cheap enough to be
accessible to the many, was secretary to the club from the commencement.
An average of thirty-nine poets, wits, noblemen, and gentlemen formed
the staple of the association. The noblemen were perhaps rather too
numerous for that republican equality that should prevail in the best
intellectual society; yet above all the dukes shine out Steele and
Addison, the two great luminaries of the club. Among the Kit-Kat dukes
was the great Marlborough; among the earls the poetic Dorset, the patron
of Dryden and Prior; among the lords the wise Halifax; among the
baronets bluff Sir Robert Walpole. Of the poets and wits there were
Congreve, the most courtly of dramatists; Garth, the poetical
physician--"well-natured Garth," as Pope somewhat awkwardly calls him;
and Vanbrugh, the writer of admirable comedies. Dryden could hardly have
seriously belonged to a Whig club; Pope was inadmissible as a Catholic,
and Prior as a renegade. Latterly objectionable men pushed in, worst of
all, Lord Mohun, a disreputable debauchee and duellist, afterwards run
through by the Duke of Hamilton in Hyde Park, the duke himself perishing
in the encounter. When Mohun, in a drunken pet, broke a gilded emblem
off a club chair, respectable old Tonson predicted the downfall of the
society, and said with a sigh, "The man who would do that would cut a
man's throat." Sir Godfrey Kneller, the great Court painter of the
reigns of William and Anne, was a member; and he painted for his friend
Tonson the portraits of forty-two gentlemen of the Kit-Kat, including
Dryden, who died a year after it started. The forty-two portraits,
painted three-quarter size (hence called Kit-Kat), to suit the walls of
Tonson's villa at Barn Elms, still exist, and are treasured by Mr. R.W.
Baker, a representative of the Tonson family, at Hertingfordbury, in
Hertfordshire. Among the lesser men of this distinguished club we must
include Pope's friends, the "knowing Walsh" and "Granville the polite."

As at the "Devil," "the tribe of Ben" must have often discussed the
downfall of Lord Bacon, the poisoning of Overbury, the war in the
Palatinate, and the murder of Buckingham; so in Shire Lane, opposite,
the talk must have run on Marlborough's victories, Jacobite plots, and
the South-Sea Bubble; Addison must have discussed Swift, and Steele
condemned the littleness of Pope. It was the custom of this aristocratic
club every year to elect some reigning beauty as a toast. To the queen
of the year the gallant members wrote epigrammatic verses, which were
etched with a diamond on the club glasses. The most celebrated of these
toasts were the four daughters of the Duke of Marlborough--Lady
Godolphin, Lady Sunderland (generally known as "the Little Whig"), Lady
Bridgewater, and Lady Monthermer. Swift's friend, Mrs. Long, was
another; and so was a niece of Sir Isaac Newton. The verses seem flat
and dead now, like flowers found between the leaves of an old book; but
in their time no doubt they had their special bloom and fragrance. The
most tolerable are those written by Lord Halifax on "the Little Whig":--

    "All nature's charms in Sunderland appear,
    Bright as her eyes and as her reason clear;
    Yet still their force, to man not safely known,
    Seems undiscovered to herself alone."

Yet how poor after all is this laboured compliment in comparison to a
sentence of Steele's on some lady of rank whose virtues he
honoured,--"that even to have known her was in itself a liberal
education."

But few stories connected with the Kit-Kat meetings are to be dug out of
books, though no doubt many snatches of the best conversation are
embalmed in the _Spectator_ and the _Tatler_. Yet Lady Mary Wortley
Montagu, whom Pope first admired and then reviled, tells one pleasant
incident of her childhood that connects her with the great club.

One evening when toasts were being chosen, her father, Evelyn Pierpoint,
Duke of Kingston, took it into his head to nominate Lady Mary, then a
child only eight years of age. She was prettier, he vowed, than any
beauty on the list. "You shall see her," cried the duke, and instantly
sent a chaise for her. Presently she came ushered in, dressed in her
best, and was elected by acclamation. The Whig gentlemen drank the
little lady's health up-standing and, feasting her with sweetmeats and
passing her round with kisses, at once inscribed her name with a diamond
on a drinking-glass. "Pleasure," she says, "was too poor a word to
express my sensations. They amounted to ecstasy. Never again throughout
my whole life did I pass so happy an evening."

It used to be said that it took so much wine to raise Addison to his
best mood, that Steele generally got drunk before that golden hour
arrived. Steele, that warm-hearted careless fellow in whom Thackeray so
delighted, certainly shone at the Kit-Kat; and an anecdote still extant
shows him to us with all his amiable weaknesses. On the night of that
great Whig festival--the celebration of King William's anniversary--Steele
and Addison brought Dr. Hoadley, the Bishop of Bangor, with them, and
solemnly drank "the immortal memory." Presently John Sly, an eccentric
hatter and enthusiastic politician, crawled into the room on his knees,
in the old Cavalier fashion, and drank the Orange toast in a tankard of
foaming October. No one laughed at the tipsy hatter; but Steele, kindly
even when in liquor, kept whispering to the rather shocked prelate,
"Do laugh; it is humanity to laugh." The bishop soon put on his hat and
withdrew, and Steele by and by subsided under the table. Picked up and
crammed into a sedan-chair, he insisted, late as it was, in going to
the Bishop of Bangor's to apologise. Eventually he was coaxed home
and got upstairs, but then, in a gush of politeness, he insisted on
seeing the chairmen out; after which he retired with self-complacency
to bed. The next morning, in spite of headache the most racking,
Steele sent the tolerant bishop the following exquisite couplet,
which covered a multitude of such sins:--

    "Virtue with so much ease on Bangor sits,
    All faults he pardons, though he none commits."

One night when amiable Garth lingered over the Kit-Kat wine, though
patients were pining for him, Steele reproved the epicurean doctor.
"Nay, nay, Dick," said Garth, pulling out a list of fifteen, "it's no
great matter after all, for nine of them have such bad constitutions
that not all the physicians in the world could save them; and the other
six have such good constitutions that all the physicians in the world
could not kill them."

Three o'clock in the morning seems to have been no uncommon hour for the
Kit-Kat to break up, and a Tory lampooner says that at this club the
youth of Anne's reign learned

    "To sleep away the days and drink away the nights."

The club latterly held its meetings at Tonson's villa at Barn Elms
(previously the residence of Cowley), or at the "Upper Flask" tavern, on
Hampstead Heath. The club died out before 1727 (George II.); for
Vanbrugh, writing to Tonson, says,--"Both Lord Carlisle and Cobham
expressed a great desire of having one meeting next winter, not as a
club, but as old friends that have been of a club--and the best club
that ever met." In 1709 we find the Kit-Kat subscribing 400 guineas for
the encouragement of good comedies. Altogether such a body of men must
have had great influence on the literature of the age, for, in spite of
the bitterness of party, there was some generous _esprit de corps_ then,
and the Whig wits and poets were a power, and were backed by rank and
wealth.

[Illustration: LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU AND THE KIT-KATS (_see page
71_).]

Whether the "Trumpet" (formerly half-way up on the left-hand side
ascending from Temple Bar) was the citadel of the Kit-Kats or not,
Steele introduces it as the scene of two of the best of his _Tatler_
papers. It was there, in October, 1709, that he received his deputation
of Staffordshire county gentlemen, delightful old fogies, standing
much on form and precedence. There he prepares tea for Sir Harry
Quickset, Bart.; Sir Giles Wheelbarrow; Thomas Rentfree, Esq., J.P.;
Andrew Windmill, Esq., the steward, with boots and whip; and Mr.
Nicholas Doubt, of the Inner Temple, Sir Harry's mischievous young
nephew. After much dispute about precedence, the sturdy old fellows are
taken by Steele to "Dick's" Coffee-house for a morning draught; and
safely, after some danger, effect the passage of Fleet Street, Steele
rallying them at the Temple Gate. In Sir Harry we fancy we see a faint
sketch of the more dignified Sir Roger de Coverley, which Addison
afterwards so exquisitely elaborated.

[Illustration: BISHOP BUTLER (_see page 77_).]

At the "Trumpet" Steele also introduces us to a delightful club of old
citizens that met every evening precisely at six. The humours of the
fifteen Trumpeters are painted with the breadth and vigour of Hogarth's
best manner. With a delightful humour Steele sketches Sir Geoffrey
Notch, the president, who had spent all his money on horses, dogs, and
gamecocks, and who looked on all thriving persons as pitiful upstarts.
Then comes Major Matchlock, who thought nothing of any battle since
Marston Moor, and who usually began his story of Naseby at
three-quarters past six. Dick Reptile was a silent man, with a nephew
whom he often reproved. The wit of the club, an old Temple bencher,
never left the room till he had quoted ten distiches from "Hudibras" and
told long stories of a certain extinct man about town named Jack Ogle.
Old Reptile was extremely attentive to all that was said, though he had
heard the same stories every night for twenty years, and upon all
occasions winked oracularly to his nephew to particularly mind what
passed. About ten the innocent twaddle closed by a man coming in with a
lantern to light home old Bickerstaff. They were simple and happy times
that Steele describes with such kindly humour; and the London of his
days must have been full of such quiet, homely haunts.

Mr. R. Wells, of Colne Park, Halstead, kindly informs us that as late as
the year 1765 there was a club that still kept up the name of Kit-Kat.
The members in 1765 included, among others, Lord Sandwich (Jemmy
Twitcher, as he was generally called), Mr. Beard, Lord Weymouth, Lord
Bolingbroke, the Duke of Queensbury, Lord Caresford, Mr. Cadogan, the
Marquis of Caracciollo, Mr. Seymour, and Sir George Armytage. One of the
most active managers of the club was Richard Phelps (who, we believe,
afterwards was secretary to Pitt). Among letters and receipts preserved
by Mr. Wells, is one from Thomas Pingo, jeweller, of the "Golden Head,"
on the "Paved Stones," Gray's Inn Lane, for gold medals, probably to be
worn by the members.

Even in the reign of James I. Shire Lane was christened Rogues' Lane,
and, in spite of all the dukes and lords of the Kit-Kat, it never grew
very respectable. In 1724 that incomparable young rascal, Jack Sheppard,
used to frequent the "Bible" public-house--a printers' house of call--at
No. 13. There was a trap in one of the rooms by which Jack could drop
into a subterraneous passage leading to Bell Yard. Tyburn gibbet cured
Jack of this trick. In 1738 the lane went on even worse, for there
Thomas Carr (a low attorney, of Elm Court) and Elizabeth Adams robbed
and murdered a gentleman named Quarrington at the "Angel and Crown"
Tavern, and the miscreants were hung at Tyburn. Hogarth painted a
portrait of the woman. One night, many years ago, a man was robbed,
thrown downstairs, and killed, in one of the dens in Shire Lane. There
was snow on the ground, and about two o'clock, when the watchmen grew
drowsy and were a long while between their rounds, the frightened
murderers carried the stiffened body up the lane and placed it bolt
upright, near a dim oil lamp, at a neighbour's door. There the watchmen
found it; but there was no clue to guide them, for nearly every house in
the lane was infamous. Years after, two ruffianly fellows who were
confined in the King's Bench were heard accusing each other of the
murder in Shire Lane, and justice pounced upon her prey.

One thieves' house, known as the "Retreat," led, Mr. Diprose says, by a
back way into Crown Court; and other dens had a passage into No. 242,
Strand. Nos. 9, 10, and 11 were known as Cadgers' Hall, and were much
frequented by beggars, and bushels of bread, thrown aside by the
professional mendicants, were found there by the police.

The "Sun" Tavern, afterwards the "Temple Bar Stores," had been a great
resort for the Tom and Jerry frolics of the Regency; and the
"Anti-Gallican" Tavern was a haunt of low sporting men, being kept by
Harry Lee, father of the first and original "tiger," invented and made
fashionable by the notorious Lord Barrymore. During the Chartist times
violent meetings were held at a club in Shire Lane. A good story is told
of one of these. A detective in disguise attended an illegal meeting,
leaving his comrades ready below. All at once a frantic hatter rose,
denounced the detective as a spy, and proposed off-hand to pitch him out
of window. Permitted by the more peaceable to depart, the policeman
scuttled downstairs as fast as he could, and, not being recognised in
his disguise, was instantly knocked down by his friends' prompt
truncheons.

In Ship Yard, close to Shire Lane, once stood a block of disreputable,
tumble-down houses, used by coiners, and known as the "Smashing Lumber."
Every room had a secret trap, and from the workshop above a shaft
reached the cellars to hurry away by means of a basket and pulley all
the apparatus at the first alarm. The first man made his fortune, but
the new police soon ransacked the den and broke up the business.

In August, 1823, Theodore Hook, the witty and the heartless, was brought
to a sponging-house kept by a sheriff's officer named Hemp, at the upper
end of Shire Lane, being under arrest for a Crown debt of £12,000, due
to the Crown for defalcations during his careless consulship at the
Mauritius. He was editor of _John Bull_ at the time, and continued while
in this horrid den to write his "Sayings and Doings," and to pour forth
for royal pay his usual scurrilous lampoons at all who supported poor,
persecuted Queen Caroline. Dr. Maginn, who had just come over from Cork
to practise Toryism, was his constant visitor, and Hemp's barred door no
doubt often shook at their reckless laughter. Hook at length left Shire
Lane for the Rules of the Bench (Temple Place) in April, 1824.
Previously to his arrest he had been living in retirement at lodgings,
in Somer's Town, with a poor girl whom he had seduced. Here he renewed
the mad scenes of his thoughtless youth with Terry, Matthews, and
wonderful old Tom Hill; and here he resumed (but not at these revels)
his former acquaintanceship with that mischievous obstructive, Wilson
Croker. After he left Shire Lane and the Rules of the Bench he went to
Putney.

In spite of all bad proclivities, Shire Lane had its fits of
respectability. In 1603 there was living there Sir Arthur Atie, Knt., in
early life secretary to the great Earl of Leicester, and afterwards
attendant on his step-son, the luckless Earl of Essex. Elias Ashmole,
the great antiquary and student in alchemy and astrology, also honoured
this lane, but he gathered in the Temple those great collections of
books and coins, some of which perished by fire, and some of which he
afterwards gave to the University of Oxford, where they were placed in a
building called, in memory of the illustrious collector, the Ashmolean
Museum.

To Mr. Noble's research we are indebted for the knowledge that in 1767
Mr. Hoole, the translator of Tasso, was living in Shire Lane, and from
thence wrote to Dr. Percy, who was collecting his "Ancient Ballads," to
ask him Dr. Wharton's address. Hoole was at that time writing a dramatic
piece called Cyrus, for Covent Garden Theatre. He seems to have been an
amiable man but a feeble poet, was an esteemed friend of Dr. Johnson,
and had a situation in the East India House.

Another illustrious tenant of Shire Lane was James Perry, the proprietor
of the _Morning Chronicle_, who died, as it was reported, worth
£130,000. That lively memoir-writer, Taylor, of the Sun, who wrote
"Monsieur Tonson," describes Perry as living in the narrow part of Shire
Lane, opposite a passage which led to the stairs from Boswell Court. He
lodged with Mr. Lunan, a bookbinder, who had married his sister, who
subsequently became the wife of that great Greek scholar, thirsty Dr.
Porson. Perry had begun life as the editor of the _Gazeteer_, but being
dismissed by a Tory proprietor, and on the _Morning Chronicle_ being
abandoned by Woodfall, some friends of Perry's bought the derelict for
£210, and he and Gray, a friend of Barett, became the joint-proprietors
of the concern. Their printer, Mr. Lambert, lived in Shire Lane, and
here the partners, too, lived for three or four years, when they removed
to the corner-house of Lancaster Court, Strand.

Bell Yard can boast of but few associations; yet Pope often visited the
dingy passage, because there for some years resided his old friend
Fortescue, then a barrister, but afterwards a judge and Master of the
Rolls. To Fortescue Pope dedicated his "Imitation of the First Satire of
Horace," published in 1733. It contains what the late Mr. Rogers, the
banker and poet, used to consider the best line Pope ever wrote, and it
is certainly almost perfect,--

    "Bare the mean heart that lurks behind a star."

In that delightful collection of Pope's "Table Talk," called "Spence's
Anecdotes," we find that a chance remark of Lord Bolingbroke, on taking
up a "Horace" in Pope's sick-room, led to those fine "Imitations of
Horace" which we now possess. The "First Satire" consists of an
imaginary conversation between Pope and Fortescue, who advises him to
write no more dangerous invectives against vice or folly. It was
Fortescue who assisted Pope in writing the humorous law-report of
"Stradling _versus_ Stiles," in "Scriblerus." The intricate case is
this, and is worthy of Anstey himself: Sir John Swale, of Swale's Hall,
in Swale Dale, by the river Swale, knight, made his last will and
testament, in which, among other bequests, was this: "Out of the kind
love and respect that I bear my much-honoured and good friend, Mr.
Matthew Stradling, gent., I do bequeath unto the said Matthew Stradling,
gent., all my black and white horses." Now the testator had six black
horses, six white, and six pied horses. The debate, therefore, was
whether the said Matthew Stradling should have the said pied horses, by
virtue of the said bequest. The case, after much debate, is suddenly
terminated by a motion in arrest of judgment that the pied horses were
mares, and thereupon an inspection was prayed. This, it must be
confessed, is admirable fooling. If the Scriblerus Club had carried out
their plan of bantering the follies of the followers of every branch of
knowledge, Fortescue would no doubt have selected the law as his special
butt. "This friend of Pope," says Mr. Carruthers, "was consulted by the
poet about all his affairs, as well as those of Martha Blount, and, as
may be gathered, he gave him advice without a fee. The intercourse
between the poet and his 'learned counsel' was cordial and sincere; and
of the letters that passed between them sixty-eight have been published,
ranging from 1714 to the last year of Pope's life. They are short,
unaffected letters--more truly _letters_ than any others in the series."
Fortescue was promoted to the bench of the Exchequer in 1735, from
thence to the Common Pleas in 1738, and in 1741 was made Master of the
Rolls. Pope's letters are often addressed to "his counsel learned in the
law, at his house at the upper end of Bell Yard, near unto Lincoln's
Inn." In March, 1736, he writes of "that filthy old place, Bell Yard,
which I want them and you to quit."

Apollo Court, next Bell Yard, has little about it worthy of notice
beyond the fact that it derived its name from the great club-room at the
"Devil" Tavern, that once stood on the opposite side of Fleet Street,
and the jovialities of which we have already chronicled.




CHAPTER VII.

FLEET STREET (NORTHERN TRIBUTARIES--CHANCERY LANE).

    The Asylum for Jewish Converts--The Rolls Chapel--Ancient
    Monuments--A Speaker Expelled for Bribery--"Remember
    Cæsar"--Trampling on a Master of the Rolls--Sir William Grant's
    Oddities--Sir John Leach--Funeral of Lord Gifford--Mrs. Clark and
    the Duke of York--Wolsey in his Pomp--Strafford--"Honest Isaak"--The
    Lord Keeper--Lady Fanshawe--Jack Randal--Serjeants' Inn--An Evening
    with Hazlitt at the "Southampton"--Charles Lamb--Sheridan--The
    Sponging Houses--The Law Institute--A Tragical Story.


Chancery, or Chancellor's, Lane, as it was first called, must have been
a mere quagmire, or cart-track, in the reign of Edward I., for Strype
tells us that at that period it had become so impassable to knight,
monk, and citizen, that John Breton, Custos of London, had it barred up,
to "hinder any harm;" and the Bishop of Chichester, whose house was
there (now Chichester Rents), kept up the bar ten years; at the end of
that time, on an inquisition of the annoyances of London, the bishop was
proscribed at an inquest for setting up two staples and a bar, "whereby
men with carts and other carriages could not pass." The bishop pleaded
John Breton's order, and the sheriff was then commanded to remove the
annoyance, and the hooded men with their carts once more cracked their
whips and whistled to their horses up and down the long disused lane.

Half-way up on the east side of Chancery Lane a dull archway, through
which can be caught glimpses of the door of an old chapel, leads to the
Rolls Court. On the site of that chapel, in the year 1233, history tells
us that Henry III. erected a Carthusian house of maintenance for
converted Jews, who there lived under a Christian governor. At a time
when Norman barons were not unaccustomed to pull out a Jew's teeth, or
to fry him on gridirons till he paid handsomely for his release,
conversion, which secured safety from such rough practices, may not have
been unfrequent. However, the converts decreasing when Edward I., after
hanging 280 Jews for clipping coin, banished the rest from the realm,
half the property of the Jews who were hung stern Edward gave to the
preachers who tried to convert the obstinate and stiff-necked
generation, and half to the Domus Conversorum, in Chancellor's Lane. In
1278 we find the converts calling themselves, in a letter sent to the
king by John the Convert, "Pauperes Coelicolæ Christi." In the reign of
Richard II. a certain converted Jew received twopence a day for life;
and in the reign of Henry IV. we find the daughter of a rabbi paid by
the keepers of the house of converts a penny a day for life, by special
patent.

Edward III., in 1377, broke up the Jewish almshouse in Chancellor's
Lane, and annexed the house and chapel to the newly-created office of
Custos Rotulorum, or Keeper of the Rolls. Some of the stones the old
gaberdines have rubbed against are no doubt incorporated in the present
chapel, which, however, has been so often altered, that, like the
Highlandman's gun, it is "new stock and new barrel." The first Master of
the Rolls, in 1377, was William Burstal; but till Thomas Cromwell, in
1534, the Masters of the Rolls were generally priests, and often king's
chaplains.

The Rolls Chapel was built, says Pennant, by Inigo Jones, in 1617, at a
cost of £2,000. Dr. Donne, the poet, preached the consecration sermon.
One of the monuments belonging to the earlier chapel is that of Dr. John
Yonge, Master of the Rolls in the reign of Henry VIII. Vertue and
Walpole attribute the tomb to Torregiano, Michael Angelo's contemporary
and the sculptor of the tomb of Henry VII. at Westminster. The master is
represented by the artist (who starved himself to death at Seville) in
effigy on an altar-tomb, in a red gown and deep square cap; his hands
are crossed, his face wears an expression of calm resignation and
profound devotion. In a recess at the back is a head of Christ, and an
angel's head appears on either side in high relief. Another monument of
interest in this quiet, legal chapel is that of Sir Edward Bruce,
created by James I. Baron of Kinloss. He was one of the crafty
ambassadors sent by wily James to openly congratulate Elizabeth on the
failure of the revolt of Essex, but secretly to commence a
correspondence with Cecil. The place of Master of the Rolls was Brace's
reward for this useful service. The ex-master lies with his head resting
on his hand, in the "toothache" attitude ridiculed by the old
dramatists. His hair is short, his beard long, and he wears a long
furred robe. Before him kneels a man in armour, possibly his son, Lord
Kinloss, who, three years after his father's death, perished in a most
savage duel with Sir Edward Sackville, ancestor to the Earls of Elgin
and Aylesbury. Another fine monument is that of Sir Richard Allington,
of Horseheath, Cambridgeshire, brother-in law of Sir William Cordall, a
former Master of the Rolls, who died in 1561. Clad in armour, Sir
Richard kneels,--

    "As for past sins he would atone,
    By saying endless prayers in stone."

His wife faces him, and beneath on a tablet kneel their three daughters.
Sir Richard's charitable widow lived after his death in Holborn, in a
house long known as Allington Place. Many of the past masters sleep
within these walls, and amongst them Sir John Trevor, who died in 1717
(George I.), and Sir John Strange; but the latter has not had inscribed
over his bones, as Pennant remarks, the old punning epitaph,--

    "Here lies an honest lawyer--that is _Strange_!"

The above-mentioned Sir John Trevor, while Speaker of the House of
Commons, being denounced for bribery, was compelled himself to preside
over the subsequent debate--an unparalleled disgrace. The indictment
ran:--

"That Sir John Trevor, Speaker of the House, receiving a gratuity of
1,000 guineas from the City of London, after the passing of the Orphans'
Bill, is guilty of high crime and misdemeanour." Trevor was himself, as
Speaker, compelled to put this resolution from the chair. The "Ayes"
were not met by a single "No," and the culprit was required to
officially announce that, in the unanimous opinion of the House over
which he presided, he stood convicted of a high crime. "His expulsion
from the House," says Mr. Jeaffreson, in his "Book about Lawyers,"
"followed in due course. One is inclined to think that in these days no
English gentleman could outlive such humiliation for four-and-twenty
hours. Sir John Trevor not only survived the humiliation, but remained a
personage of importance in London society. Convicted of bribery, he was
not called upon to refund the bribe; and expelled from the House of
Commons, he was not driven from his judicial office. He continued to be
the Master of the Rolls till his death, which took place on May 20,
1717, in his official mansion in Chancery Lane. His retention of office
is easily accounted for. Having acted as a vile negotiator between the
two great political parties, they were equally afraid of him. Neither
the Whigs nor the Tories dared to demand his expulsion from office,
fearing that in revenge he would make revelations alike disgraceful to
all parties concerned."

The arms of Sir Robert Cecil and Sir Harbottle Grimstone gleam in the
chapel windows. Swift's detestation, Bishop Burnet, the historian and
friend of William of Orange, was preacher here for nine years, and here
delivered his celebrated sermon, "Save me from the lion's mouth: thou
hast heard me from the horns of the unicorn." Burnet was appointed by
Sir Harbottle, who was Master of the Rolls; and in his "Own Times" he
has inserted a warm eulogy of Sir Harbottle as a worthy and pious man.
Atterbury, the Jacobite Bishop of Rochester, was also preacher here; nor
can we forget that amiable man and great theologian, Bishop Butler, the
author of the "Analogy of Religion." Butler, the son of a Dissenting
tradesman at Wantage, was for a long time lost in a small country
living, a loss to the Church which Archbishop Blackburne lamented to
Queen Caroline. "Why, I thought he had been dead!" exclaimed the queen.
"No, madam," replied the archbishop; "he is only buried." In 1718 Butler
was appointed preacher at the Rolls by Sir Joseph. Jekyll. This
excellent man afterwards became Bishop of Bristol, and died Bishop of
Durham.

[Illustration: WOLSEY IN CHANCERY LANE (_see page 81_).]

A few anecdotes about past dignitaries at the Rolls. Of Sir Julius
Cæsar, Master of the Rolls in the reign of Charles I., Lord Clarendon,
in his "History of the Rebellion," tells a story too good to be passed
by. This Sir Julius, having by right of office the power of appointing
the six clerks, designed one of the profitable posts for his son, Robert
Cæsar. One of the clerks dying before Sir Julius could appoint his son,
the imperious treasurer, Sir Richard Weston, promised his place to a
dependant of his, who gave him for it £6,000 down. The vexation of old
Sir Julius at this arbitrary step so moved his friends, that King
Charles was induced to promise Robert Cæsar the next post in the clerks'
office that should fall vacant, and the Lord Treasurer was bound by this
promise. One day the Earl of Tullibardine, passionately pressing the
treasurer about his business, was told by Sir Richard that he had quite
forgotten the matter, but begged for a memorandum, that he might remind
the king that very afternoon. The earl then wrote on a small bit of
paper the words, "Remember Cæsar!" and Sir Richard, without reading it,
placed it carefully in a little pocket, where he said he kept all the
memorials first to be transacted. Many days passed, and the ambitious
treasurer forgot all about Cæsar. At length one night, changing his
clothes, his servant brought him the notes and papers from his pocket,
which he looked over according to his custom. Among these he found the
little billet with merely the words "Remember Cæsar!" and on the sight
of this the arrogant yet timid courtier was utterly confounded. Turning
pale, he sent for his bosom friends, showed them the paper, and held a
solemn deliberation over it. It was decided that it must have been
dropped into his hand by some secret friend, as he was on his way to the
priory lodgings. Every one agreed that some conspiracy was planned
against his life by his many and mighty enemies, and that Cæsar's fate
might soon be his unless great precautions were taken. The friends
therefore persuaded him to be at once indisposed, and not venture forth
in that neighbourhood, nor to admit to an audience any but persons of
undoubted affection. At night the gates were shut and barred early, and
the porter solemnly enjoined not to open them to any one, or to venture
on even a moment's sleep. Some servants were sent to watch with him, and
the friends sat up all night to await the event. "Such houses," says
Clarendon, who did not like the treasurer, "are always in the morning
haunted by early suitors;" but it was very late before any one could now
get admittance into the house, the porter having tasted some of the
arrears of sleep which he owed to himself for his night watching, which
he accounted for to his acquaintance by whispering to them "that his
lord should have been killed that night, which had kept all the house
from going to bed." Shortly afterwards, however, the Earl of
Tullibardine asking the treasurer whether he had remembered Cæsar, the
treasurer quickly recollected the ground of his perturbation, could not
forbear imparting it to his friends, and so the whole jest came to be
discovered.

[Illustration: IZAAK WALTON'S HOUSE (_see page 82_).]

In 1614, £6 12s. 6d. was claimed by Sir Julius Cæsar for paving the
part of Chancery Lane over against the Rolls Gate.

Sir Joseph Jekyll, the Master of the Rolls in the reign of George I.,
was an ancestor of that witty Jekyll, the friend and adviser of George
IV. Sir Joseph was very active in introducing a Bill for increasing the
duty on gin, in consequence of which he became so odious to the mob that
they one day hustled and trampled on him in a riot in Lincoln's Inn
Fields. Hogarth, who painted his "Gin Lane" to express his alarm and
disgust at the growing intemperance of the London poor, has in one of
his extraordinary pictures represented a low fellow writing J.J. under a
gibbet.

Sir William Grant, who succeeded Lord Alvanley, was the last Master but
one that resided in the Rolls. He had practised at the Canadian bar, and
on returning to England attracted the attention of Lord Thurlow, then
chancellor. He was an admirable speaker in the House, and even Fox is
said to have girded himself tighter for an encounter with such an
adversary. "He used," says Mr. Cyrus Jay, in his amusing book, "The
Law," "to sit from five o'clock till one, and seldom spoke during that
time. He dined before going into court, his allowance being a bottle of
Madeira at dinner and a bottle of port after. He dined alone, and the
unfortunate servant was expected to anticipate his master's wishes by
intuition. Sir William never spoke if he could help it. On one occasion
when the favourite dish of a leg of pork was on the table, the servant
saw by Sir William's face that something was wrong, but he could not
tell what. Suddenly a thought flashed upon him--the Madeira was not on
the table. He at once placed the decanter before Sir William, who
immediately flung it into the grate, exclaiming, "Mustard, you fool!""

Sir John Leach, another Master of the Rolls, was the son of a tradesman
at Bedford, afterwards a merchant's clerk and an embryo architect. Mr.
Canning appointed him Master of the Rolls, an office previously, it has
been said, offered to Mr. Brougham. Leach was fond, says Mr. Jay, of
saying sharp, bitter things in a bland and courtly voice. "No submission
could ameliorate his temper, no opposition lend asperity to his voice."
In court two large fan shades were always placed in a way to shade him
from the light, and to render Sir John entirely invisible. "After the
counsel who was addressing the court had finished, and resumed his seat,
there would be an awful pause for a minute or two, when at length out of
the darkness which surrounded the chair of justice would come a voice,
distinct, awful, solemn, but with the solemnity of suppressed
anger--'the bill is dismissed with costs.'" No explanations, no long
series of arguments were advanced to support the conclusion. The
decision was given with the air of a man who knew he was right, and that
only folly or villainy could doubt the propriety of his judgments. Sir
John was the Prince Regent's great adviser during Queen Caroline's
trial, and assisted in getting up the evidence. "How often," says Mr.
Jay, "have I seen him, when walking through the Green Park between four
and five o'clock in the afternoon, knock at the private door of Carlton
Palace. I have seen him go in four or five days following."

Gifford was another eminent Master of the Rolls, though he did not hold
the office long. He first attracted attention when a lawyer's clerk by
his clever observations on a case in which he was consulted by his
employers, in the presence of an important client. The high opinion
which Lord Ellenborough formed of his talents induced Lord Liverpool to
appoint him Solicitor-General. While in the House he had frequently to
encounter Sir Samuel Romilly. Mr. Cyrus Jay has an interesting anecdote
about the funeral of Lord Gifford, who was buried in the Rolls Chapel.
"I was," he says, "in the little gallery when the procession came into
the chapel, and Lord Eldon and Lord Chief Justice Abbott were placed in
a pew by themselves. I could observe everything that took place in the
pew, it being a small chapel, and noted that Lord Eldon was very shaky,
and during the most solemn part of the service saw him touch the Chief
Justice. I have no doubt he asked for his snuff-box, for the snuff-box
was produced, and he took a large pinch of snuff. The Chief Justice was
a very great snuff-taker, but he only took it up one nostril. I kept my
eye on the pinch of snuff, and saw that Lord Eldon, the moment he had
taken it from the box, threw it away. I was sorry at the time, and was
astonished at the deception practised by so great a man, with the grave
yawning before him."

When Sir Thomas Plumer was Master of the Rolls, and gave a succession of
dinners to the Bar, Romilly, alluding to Lord Eldon's stinginess, said,
"Verily he is working off the arrears of the Lord Chancellor."

At the back of the Rolls Chapel, in Bowling-Pin Alley, Bream's Buildings
(No. 28, Chancery Lane), there once lived, according to party calumny, a
journeyman labourer, named Thompson, whose clever and pretty daughter,
the wife of Clark, a bricklayer, became the mischievous mistress of the
good-natured but weak Duke of York. After making great scandal about the
sale of commissions obtained by her influence, the shrewd woman wrote
some memoirs, 10,000 copies of which, Mr. Timbs records, were, the year
after, burnt at a printer's in Salisbury Square, upon condition of her
debts being paid, and an annuity of £400 granted her.

Wilberforce's unscrupulous party statement, that Mrs. Clark was a low,
vulgar, and extravagant woman, was entirely untrue. Mrs. Clark, however
imprudent and devoid of virtue, was no more the daughter of a journeyman
bricklayer than she was the daughter of Pope Pius. She was really, as
Mr. Cyrus Redding, who knew most of the political secrets of his day,
has proved, the unfortunate granddaughter of that unfortunate man,
Theodore, King of Corsica, and daughter of even a more unhappy man,
Colonel Frederick, a brave, well-read gentleman, who, under the pressure
of a temporary monetary difficulty, occasioned by the dishonourable
conduct of a friend, blew out his brains in the churchyard of St.
Margaret's, Westminster. In 1798 a poem, written, we believe, by Mrs.,
then Miss Clark, called "Ianthe," was published by subscription at
Hookham's, in New Bond Street, for the benefit of Colonel Frederick's
daughter and children, and dedicated to the Prince of Wales. The girl
married an Excise officer, much older than herself, and became the
mistress of the Duke of York, to whom probably she had applied for
assistance, or subscriptions to her poem. The fact is, the duke's vices
were turned, as vices frequently are, into scourges for his own back. He
was a jovial, good-natured, affable, selfish man, an incessant and
reckless gambler, quite devoid of all conscience about debts, and,
indeed, of moral principle in general. When he got tired of Mrs. Clark,
he meanly and heartlessly left her, with a promised annuity which he
never paid, and with debts mutually incurred at their house in
Gloucester Place, which he shamefully allowed to fall upon her. In
despair and revengeful rage the discarded mistress sought the eager
enemies whom the duke's careless neglect had sown round him, and the
scandal broke forth. The Prince of Wales, who was as fond of his brother
as he could be of any one, was greatly vexed at the exposure, and sent
Lord Moira to buy up the correspondence from the Radical bookseller, Sir
Richard Phillips, who had advanced money upon it, and was glorying in
the escapade.

Mr. Timbs informs us that Sir Richard Phillips, used to narrate the
strange and mysterious story of the real secret cause of the Duke of
York scandal. The exposure originated in the resentment of one M'Callum
against Sir Thomas Picton, who, as Governor of Trinidad, had, among
other arbitrary acts, imprisoned M'Callum in an underground dungeon. On
getting to England he sought justice; but, finding himself baffled, he
first published his travels in Trinidad, to expose Picton; then ferreted
out charges against the War Office, and at last, through Colonel Wardle,
brought forward the notorious great-coat contract. This being negatived
by a Ministerial majority, he then traced Mrs. Clark, and arranged the
whole of the exposure for Wardle and others. To effect this in the teeth
of power, though destitute of resources, he wrought night and day for
months. He lodged in a garret in Hungerford Market, and often did not
taste food for twenty-four hours. He lived to see the Duke of York
dismissed from office, had time to publish a short narrative, then died
of exhaustion and want.

An eye-witness of Mrs. Clark's behaviour at the bar of the House of
Commons pronounced her replies as full of sharpness against the more
insolent of her adversaries, but her bearing is described as being "full
of grace." Mr. Redding, who had read twenty or thirty of this lady's
letters, tells us that they showed a good education in the writer.

A writer who was present during her examination before the House of
Commons, has pleasantly described the singular scene. "I was," he says,
"in the House of Commons when Mary Anne Clark first made her appearance
at the bar, dressed in her light-blue pelisse, light muff and tippet.
She was a pretty woman, rather of a slender make. It was debated whether
she should have a chair; this occasioned a hubbub, and she was asked who
the person with her deeply veiled was. She replied that she was her
friend. The lady was instantly ordered to withdraw, then a chair was
ordered for Mrs. Clark, and she seemed to pluck up courage, for when she
was asked about the particulars of an annuity promised to be settled on
her by the Duke of York, she said, pointing with her hand, 'You may ask
Mr. William Adam there, as he knows all about it.' She was asked if she
was quite certain that General Clavering ever was at any of her parties;
she replied, 'So certain, that I always told him he need not use any
ceremony, but come in his boots.' It will be remembered that General C.
was sent to Newgate for prevarication on that account, _not having
recollected in time_ this circumstance.

"Perceval fought the battle manfully. The Duke of York could not be
justified for some of his acts--for instance, giving a footboy of Mrs.
Clark's a commission in the army, and allowing an improper influence to
be exerted over him in his thoughtless moments; but that the trial
originated in pique and party spirit, there can be no doubt; and, as he
justly merited, Colonel Wardle, the prosecutor in the case, sunk into
utter oblivion, whilst the Duke of York, the soldier's friend and the
beloved of the army, was, after a short period (having been superseded
by Sir David Dundas), replaced as commander-in-chief, and died deeply
regretted and fully meriting the colossal statue erected to him, with
his hand pointing to the Horse Guards."

Cardinal Wolsey lived, at some period of his extraordinary career, in a
house in Chancery Lane, at the Holborn end, and on the east side,
opposite the Six Clerks' Office. We do not know what rank the proud
favourite held at this time, whether he was almoner to the king, privy
councillor, Canon of Windsor, Bishop of Lincoln, Archbishop of York, or
Cardinal of the Cecilia. We like to think that down that dingy legal
lane he rode on his way to Westminster Hall, with all that magnificence
described by his faithful gentleman usher, Cavendish. He would come out
of his chamber, we read, about eight o'clock in his cardinal's robes of
scarlet taffeta and crimson satin, with a black velvet tippet edged with
sable round his neck, holding in his hand an orange filled with a sponge
containing aromatic vinegar, in case the crowd of suitors should in
commode him. Before him was borne the broad seal of England, and the
scarlet cardinal's hat. A sergeant-at-arms preceded him bearing a great
mace of silver, and two gentlemen carrying silver plates. At the
hall-door he mounted his mule, trapped with crimson and having a saddle
covered with crimson velvet, while the gentlemen ushers, bareheaded,
cried,--"On, masters, before, and make room for my lord cardinal." When
Wolsey was mounted he was preceded by his two cross-bearers and his two
pillow-bearers, all upon horses trapped in scarlet; and four footmen
with pole-axes guarded the cardinal till he came to Westminster. And
every Sunday, when he repaired to the king's court at Greenwich, he
landed at the Three Cranes, in the Vintrey, and took water again at
Billingsgate. "He had," says Cavendish, "a long season, ruling all
things in the realm appertaining to the king, by his wisdom, and all
other matters of foreign regions with whom the king had any occasion to
meddle, and then he fell like Lucifer, never to rise again. Here," says
Cavendish, "is the end and fall of pride; for I assure you he was in his
time the proudest man alive, having more regard to the honour of his
person than to his spiritual functions, wherein he should have expressed
more meekness and humility."

One of the greatest names connected with Chancery Lane is that of the
unfortunate Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, who, after leading his master,
Charles I., on the path to the scaffold, was the first to lay his head
upon the block. Wentworth, the son of a Yorkshire gentleman, was born in
1593 in Chancery Lane, at the house of Mr. Atkinson, his maternal
grandfather, a bencher of Lincoln's Inn. At first an enemy of
Buckingham, the king's favourite, and opposed to the Court, he was won
over by a peerage and the counsels of his friend Lord Treasurer Weston.
He soon became a headlong and unscrupulous advocate of arbitrary power,
and, as Lord Deputy of Ireland, did his best to raise an army for the
king and to earn his Court name of "Thorough." Impeached for high
treason, and accused by Sir Henry Vane of a design to subdue England by
force, he was forsaken by the weak king and condemned to the block. "Put
not your trust in princes," he said, when he heard of the king's consent
to the execution of so faithful a servant, "nor in any child of man, for
in them is no salvation." He died on Tower Hill, with calm and undaunted
courage, expressing his devotion to the Church of England, his loyalty
to the king, and his earnest desire for the peace and welfare of the
kingdom.

Of this steadfast and dangerous man Clarendon has left one of those
Titianesque portraits in which he excelled. "He was a man," says the
historian, "of great parts and extraordinary endowment of nature, and of
great observation and a piercing judgment both into things and persons;
but his too good skill in persons made him judge the worse of things,
and so that upon the matter he wholly relied upon himself; and
discerning many defects in most men, he too much neglected what they
said or did. Of all his passions his pride was most predominant, which a
moderate exercise of ill fortune might have corrected and reformed; and
which was by the hand of Heaven strangely punished by bringing his
destruction on him by two things that he most despised--the people and
Sir Harry Vane. In a word, the epitaph which Plutarch records that Sylla
wrote for himself may not be unfitly applied to him--'that no man did
ever pass him either in doing good to his friends or in doing harm to
his enemies.'"

Izaak Walton, that amiable old angler, lived for some years (1627 to
1644) of his happy and contented life in a house (No. 120) on the west
side of Chancery Lane (Fleet Street end). This was many years before he
published his "Complete Angler," which did not, indeed, appear till the
year before the Restoration. Yet we imagine that at this time the honest
citizen often sallied forth to the Lea banks with his friends, the Roes,
on those fine cool May mornings upon which he expatiates so pleasantly.
A quiet man and a lover of peace was old Izaak; and we may be sure no
jingle of money ever hurried him back from the green fields where the
lark, singing as she ascended higher and higher into the air, and nearer
to the heavens, excelled, as he says, in her simple piety "all those
little nimble musicians of the air (her fellows) who warble forth their
various ditties with which Nature has furnished them, to the shame of
art." Refreshed and exhilarated by the pure country air, we can fancy
Walton returning homeward to his Chancery Lane shop, humming to himself
that fine old song of Marlowe's which the milkmaid sung to him as he sat
under the honeysuckle-hedge out of the shower,--

    "Come live with me and be my love,
    And we will all the pleasures prove
    That valleys, groves, or hills, or field,
    Or woods, or steepy mountain, yield."

How Byron had the heart to call a man who loved such simple pleasures,
and was so guileless and pure-hearted as Walton, "a cruel old coxcomb,"
and to wish that in his gullet he had a hook, and "a strong trout to
pull it," we never could understand; but Byron was no angler, and we
suppose he thought Walton's advice about sewing up frogs' mouths, &c.,
somewhat hard-hearted.

North, in his life of that faithful courtier of Charles II., Lord Keeper
Guildford, mentions that his lordship "settled himself in the great
brick house in Serjeants' Inn, near Chancery Lane, which was formerly
the Lord Chief Justice Hyde's, and that he held it till he had the Great
Seal, and some time after. When his lordship lived in this house, before
his lady began to want her health, he was in the height of all the
felicity his nature was capable of. He had a seat in St. Dunstan's
Church appropriated to him, and constantly kept the church in the
mornings, and so his house was to his mind; and having, with leave, a
door into Serjeants' Inn garden, he passed daily with ease to his
chambers, dedicated to business and study. His friends he enjoyed at
home, and politic ones often found him out at his chambers." He rebuilt
Serjeants' Inn Hall, which had become poor and ruinous, and improved all
the dwellings in Chancery Lane from Jackanapes Alley down to Fleet
Street. He also drained the street for the first time, and had a rate
levied on the unwilling inhabitants, after which his at first reluctant
neighbours thanked him warmly. This same Lord Keeper, a time-server and
friend of arbitrary power, according to Burnet, seems to have been a
learned and studious man, for he encouraged the sale of barometers and
wrote a philosophical essay on music. It was this timid courtier that
unscrupulous Jeffreys vexed by spreading a report that he had been seen
riding on a rhinoceros, then one of the great sights of London. Jeffreys
was at the time hoping to supersede the Lord Keeper in office, and was
anxious to cover him with ridicule.

Besides the Cæsars, Cecils, Throckmortons, Lincolns, Sir John Franklin,
and Edward Reeve, who, according to Mr. Noble, all resided in Chancery
Lane, when it was a fashionable legal quarter, we must not forget that
on the site of No. 115 lived Sir Richard Fanshawe, the ambassador sent
by Charles II. to arrange his marriage with the Portuguese princess.
This accomplished man, who translated Guarini's "Pastor Fido," and the
"Lusiad" of Camoens, died at Madrid in 1666. His brave yet gentle wife,
who wrote some interesting memoirs, gives a graphic account of herself
and her husband taking leave of his royal master, Charles I., at Hampton
Court. At parting, the king saluted her, and she prayed God to preserve
his majesty with long life and happy years. The king stroked her on the
cheek, and said, "Child, if God pleaseth, it shall be so; but both you
and I must submit to God's will, for you know whose hands I am in." Then
turning to Sir Richard, Charles said, "Be sure, Dick, to tell my son all
that I have said, and deliver these letters to my wife. Pray God bless
her; and I hope I shall do well." Then, embracing Sir Richard, the king
added, "Thou hast ever been an honest man, and I hope God will bless
thee, and make thee a happy servant to my son, whom I have charged in my
letter to continue his love and trust to you; and I do promise you, if I
am ever restored to my dignity, I will bountifully reward you both for
your services and sufferings." "Thus," says the noble Royalist lady,
enthusiastically, "did we part from that glorious sun that within a few
months after was extinguished, to the grief of all Christians who are
not forsaken of their God."

No. 45 (east side) is the "Hole in the Wall" Tavern, kept early in the
century by Jack Randal, _alias_ "Nonpareil," a fighting man, whom Tom
Moore visited, says Mr. Noble, to get materials for his "Tom Cribb's
Memorial to Congress," "Randal's Diary," and other satirical poems.
Hazlitt, when living in Southampton Buildings, describes going to this
haunt of the fancy the night before the great fight between Neate, the
Bristol butcher, and Hickman, the gas-man, to find out where the
encounter was to take place, although Randal had once rather too
forcibly expelled him for some trifling complaint about a chop. Hazlitt
went down to the fight with Thurtell, the betting man, who afterwards
murdered Mr. Weare, a gambler and bill-discounter of Lyon's Inn. In
Byron's early days taverns like Randal's were frequented by all the men
about town, who considered that to wear bird's-eye handkerchiefs and
heavy-caped box coats was the height of manliness and fashion.

Chichester Rents, a sorry place now, preserves a memory of the site of
the town-house of the Bishops of Chichester. It was originally built in
a garden belonging to one John Herberton, granted the bishops by Henry
III., who excepted it out of the charter of the Jew converts' house, now
the Rolls Chapel.

Serjeants' Inn, originally designed for serjeants alone, is now open to
all students, though it still more especially affects the Freres
Serjens, or Fratres Servientes, who derived their name originally from
being the lower grade or servitors of the Knights Templars. Serjeants
still address each other as "brother," and indeed, as far as Cain and
Abel go, the brotherhood of lawyers cannot be disputed. The old formula
at Westminster, when a new serjeant approached the judges, was, "I think
I see a brother."

One of Chaucer's Canterbury pilgrims was a "serjeant of law." This inn
dates back as early as the reign of Henry IV., when it was held under a
lease from the Bishop of Ely. In 1442 a William Antrobus, citizen and
taylor of London, held it at the rent of ten marks a year. In the hall
windows are emblazoned the arms of Lord Keeper Guildford (1684). The
inn was rebuilt, all but the old dining-hall, by Sir Robert Smirke, in
the years 1837-38.

[Illustration: OLD SERJEANTS' INN (_see page 83_).]

The humours of Southampton Buildings, Chancery Lane, have been admirably
described by Hazlitt, and are well condensed by a contemporaneous
writer, of whose labours we gratefully avail ourselves.

"In 1820 a ray of light strikes the Buildings, for one of the least
popular, but by no means the least remarkable, of the Charles Lamb set
came to lodge at No. 9, half-way down on the right-hand side as you come
from Holborn. There for four years lived, taught, wrote, and suffered
that admirable essayist, fine-art and theatrical critic, thoughtful
metaphysician, and miserable man, William Hazlitt. He lodged at the
house of Mr. Walker, a tailor, who was blessed with two fair daughters,
with one of whom (Sarah) Hazlitt, then a married man, fell madly in
love. He declared she was like the Madonna (she seems really to have
been a cold, calculating flirt, rather afraid of her wild lover). To his
'Liber Amoris,' a most stultifying series of dialogues between himself
and the lodging-house keeper's daughter, the author appended a drawing
of an antique gem (Lucretia), which he declared to be the very image of
the obdurate tailor's daughter. This untoward but remarkably gifted man,
whom Lamb admired, if he did not love, and whom Leigh Hunt regarded as
a spirit highly endowed, usually spent his evenings at the
'Southampton;' as we take it, that coffee-house on the left hand, next
the Patent Office, as you enter the Buildings from Chancery Lane. It is
an unpretending public-house now, with the quiet, bald-looking
coffee-room altered, but still one likes to wander past the place and
think that Hazlitt, his hand still warm with the grip of Lamb's, has
entered it often. In an essay on 'Coffee-House Politicians,' in the
second volume of his 'Table Talk,' Hazlitt has sketched the coterie at
the 'Southampton,' in a manner not unworthy of Steele. The picture wants
Sir Richard's mellow, Jan Steen colour, but it possesses much of
Wilkie's dainty touch and keen appreciation of character. Let us call
up, he says, the old customers at the 'Southampton' from the dead, and
take a glass with them. First of all comes Mr. George Kirkpatrick, who
was admired by William, the sleek, neat waiter (who had a music-master
to teach him the flageolet two hours every morning before the maids were
up), for his temper in managing an argument. Mr. Kirkpatrick was one of
those bland, simpering, self-complacent men, who, unshakable from the
high tower of their own self-satisfaction, look down upon your arguments
from their magnificent elevation. 'I will explain,' was his
condescending phrase. If you corrected the intolerable magnifico, he
corrected your correction; if you hinted at an obvious blunder, he was
always aware what your mistaken objection would be. He and his clique
would spend a whole evening on a wager as to whether the first edition
of Dr. Johnson's 'Dictionary' was quarto or folio. The confident
assertions, the cautious ventures, the length of time demanded to
ascertain the fact, the precise terms of the forfeit, the provisoes for
getting out of paying it at last, led to a long and inextricable
discussion. Kirkpatrick's vanity, however, one night led him into a
terrible pitfall. He recklessly ventured money on the fact that _The
Mourning Bride_ was written by Shakespeare; headlong he fell, and
ruefully he partook of the bowl of punch for which he had to pay. As a
rule his nightly outlay seldom exceeded sevenpence. Four hours' good
conversation for sevenpence made the 'Southampton' the cheapest of
London clubs.

[Illustration: HAZLITT (_see page 87_).]

"Kirkpatrick's brother Roger was the Mercutio to his Shallow. Roger was
a rare fellow, 'of the driest humour and the nicest tact, of infinite
sleights and evasions, of a picked phraseology, and the very soul of
mimicry.' He had the mind of a harlequin; his wit was acrobatic, and
threw somersaults. He took in a character at a glance, and threw a pun
at you as dexterously as a fly-fisher casts his fly over a trout's nose.
'How finely,' says Hazlitt, in his best and heartiest mood; 'how finely,
how truly, how gaily he took off the company at the "Southampton!" Poor
and faint are my sketches compared to his! It was like looking into a
camera-obscura--you saw faces shining and speaking. The smoke curled,
the lights dazzled, the oak wainscoting took a higher polish. There was
old S., tall and gaunt, with his couplet from Pope and case at Nisi
Prius; Mudford, eyeing the ventilator and lying perdu for a moral; and
H. and A. taking another friendly finishing glass. These and many more
windfalls of character he gave us in thought, word, and action. I
remember his once describing three different persons together to myself
and Martin Burney [a bibulous nephew of Madame d'Arblay's and a great
friend of Charles Lamb's], namely, the manager of a country theatre, a
tragic and a comic performer, till we were ready to tumble on the floor
with laughing at the oddity of their humours, and at Roger's
extraordinary powers of ventriloquism, bodily and mental; and Burney
said (such was the vividness of the scene) that when he awoke the next
morning he wondered what three amusing characters he had been in company
with the evening before.' He was fond also of imitating old Mudford, of
the _Courier_, a fat, pert, dull man, who had left the _Morning
Chronicle_ in 1814, just as Hazlitt joined it, and was renowned for
having written a reply to 'Coelebs.' He would enter a room, fold up his
great-coat, take out a little pocket volume, lay it down to think,
rubbing all the time the fleshy calf of his leg with dull gravity and
intense and stolid self-complacency, and start out of his reveries when
addressed with the same inimitable vapid exclamation of 'Eh!' Dr.
Whittle, a large, plain-faced Moravian preacher, who had turned
physician, was another of his chosen impersonations. Roger represented
the honest, vain, empty man purchasing an ounce of tea by stratagem to
astonish a favoured guest; he portrayed him on the summit of a narrow,
winding, and very steep staircase, contemplating in airy security the
imaginary approach of duns. This worthy doctor on one occasion, when
watching Sarratt, the great chess-player, turned suddenly to Hazlitt,
and said, 'I think I could dance. I'm sure I could; aye, I could dance
like Vestris.' Such were the odd people Roger caricatured on the
memorable night he pulled off his coat to eat beefsteaks on equal terms
with Martin Burney.

"Then there was C., who, from his slender neck, shrillness of voice, and
his ever-ready quibble and laugh at himself, was for some time taken for
a lawyer, with which folk the Buildings were then, as now, much
infested. But on careful inquiry he turned out to be a patent-medicine
seller, who at leisure moments had studied Blackstone and the statutes
at large from mere sympathy with the neighbourhood. E. came next, a rich
tradesman, Tory in grain, and an everlasting babbler on the strong side
of politics; querulous, dictatorial, and with a peevish whine in his
voice like a beaten schoolboy. He was a stout advocate for the Bourbons
and the National Debt, and was duly disliked by Hazlitt, we may feel
assured. The Bourbons he affirmed to be the choice of the French people,
the Debt necessary to the salvation of these kingdoms. To a little
inoffensive man, 'of a saturnine aspect but simple conceptions,' Hazlitt
once heard him say grandly, 'I will tell you, sir. I will make my
proposition so clear that you will be convinced of the truth of my
observation in a moment. Consider, sir, the number of trades that would
be thrown out of employ if the Debt were done away with. What would
become of the porcelain manufacture without it?' He would then show the
company a flower, the production of his own garden, calling it a unique
and curious exotic, and hold forth on his carnations, his country-house,
and his old English hospitality, though he never invited a friend to
come down to a Sunday's dinner. Mean and ostentatious, insolent and
servile, he did not know whether to treat those he conversed with as if
they were his porters or his customers. The 'prentice boy was not yet
ground out of him, and his imagination hovered between his grand new
country mansion and the workhouse. Opposed to him and every one else was
K., a Radical reformer and tedious logician, who wanted to make short
work of the taxes and National Debt, reconstruct the Government from
first principles, and shatter the Holy Alliance at a blow. He was for
crushing out the future prospects of society as with a machine, and for
starting where the French Revolution had begun five-and-twenty years
before. He was a born disturber, and never agreed to more than half a
proposition at a time. Being very stingy, he generally brought a bunch
of radishes with him for economy, and would give a penny to a band of
musicians at the door, observing that he liked their performance better
than all the opera-squalling. His objections to the National Debt arose
from motives of personal economy; and he objected to Mr. Canning's
pension because it took a farthing a year out of his own pocket.

"Another great sachem at the 'Southampton' was Mr. George Mouncey, of
the firm of Mouncey & Gray, solicitors, Staple's Inn. 'He was,' says
Hazlitt, 'the oldest frequenter of the place and the latest sitter-up;
well-informed, unobtrusive, and that sturdy old English character, a
lover of truth and justice. Mouncey never approved of anything unfair or
illiberal, and, though good-natured and gentleman-like, never let an
absurd or unjust proposition pass him without expressing dissent.' He
was much liked by Hazlitt, for they had mutual friends, and Mouncey had
been intimate with most of the wits and men about town for twenty years
before. 'He had in his time known Tobin, Wordsworth, Porson, Wilson,
Paley, and Erskine. He would speak of Paley's pleasantry and unassuming
manners, and describe Porson's deep potations and long quotations at the
"Cider Cellars."' Warming with his theme, Hazlitt goes on in his essay
to etch one memorable evening at the 'Southampton.' A few only were
left, 'like stars at break of day,' the discourse and the ale were
growing sweeter; but Mouncey, Hazlitt, and a man named Wells, alone
remained. The conversation turned on the frail beauties of Charles II.'s
Court, and from thence passed to Count Grammont, their gallant, gay, and
not over-scrupulous historian. Each one cited his favourite passage in
turn; from Jacob Hall, the rope-dancer, they progressed by pleasant
stages of talk to pale Miss Churchill and her fortunate fall from her
horse. Wells then spoke of 'Apuleius and his Golden Ass,' 'Cupid and
Psyche,' and the romance of 'Heliodorus, Theogenes, and Chariclea,'
which, as he affirmed, opened with a pastoral landscape equal to one of
Claude's. 'The night waned,' says the delightful essayist, 'but our
glasses brightened, enriched with the pearls of Grecian story. Our
cup-bearer slept in a corner of the room, like another Endymion, in the
pale rays of a half-extinguished lamp, and, starting up at a fresh
summons for a further supply, he swore it was too late, and was
inexorable to entreaty. Mouncey sat with his hat on and a hectic flush
in his face while any hope remained, but as soon as we rose to go, he
dashed out of the room as quick as lightning, determined not to be the
last. I said some time after to the waiter that "Mr. Mouncey was no
flincher." "Oh, sir!" says he, "you should have known him formerly. Now
he is quite another man: he seldom stays later than one or two; then he
used to help sing catches, and all sorts."

"It was at the 'Southampton' that George Cruikshank, Hazlitt, and Hone
used to often meet, to discuss subjects for Hone's squibs on the Queen's
trial (1820). Cruikshank would sometimes dip his finger in ale and
sketch a suggestion on the table.

"While living in that state of half-assumed love frenzy at No. 9,
Southampton Buildings, Hazlitt produced some of his best work. His noble
lectures on the age of Elizabeth had just been delivered, and he was
writing for the _Edinburgh Review_, the _New Monthly_, and the London
_Magazine_, in conjunction with Charles Lamb, Reynolds, Barry Cornwall,
De Quincey, and Wainwright ('Janus Weathercock') the poisoner. In 1821
he published his volume of 'Dramatic Criticisms,' and his subtle 'Table
Talk;' in 1823, his foolish 'Liber Amoris;' and in 1824, his fine
'Sketches of the Principal English Picture Galleries.'

"Hazlitt, who was born in 1778 and died in 1830, was the son of a
Unitarian minister of Irish descent. Hazlitt was at first intended for
an artist, but, coming to London, soon drifted into literature. He
became a parliamentary reporter to the _Morning Chronicle_ in 1813, and
in that wearing occupation injured his naturally weak digestion. In 1814
he succeeded Mudford as theatrical critic on Perry's paper. In 1815 he
joined the _Champion_, and in 1818 wrote for the _Yellow Dwarf_.
Hazlitt's habits at No. 9 were enough to have killed a rhinoceros. He
sat up half the night, and rose about one or two. He then remained
drinking the strongest black tea, nibbling a roll, and reading (no
appetite, of course) till about five p.m. At supper at the
'Southampton,' his jaded stomach then rousing, he ate a heavy meal of
steak or game, frequently drinking during his long and suicidal vigils
three or four quarts of water. Wine and spirits he latterly never
touched. Morbidly self-conscious, touchy, morose, he believed that his
aspect and manner were strange and disagreeable to his friends, and that
every one was perpetually insulting him. He had a magnificent forehead,
regular features, pale as marble, and a profusion of curly black hair,
but his eyes were shy and suspicious. His manner when not at his ease
Mr. P.G. Patmore describes as worthy of Apemantus himself. He would
enter a room as if he had been brought in in custody. He shuffled
sidelong to the nearest chair, sat down on the extreme corner of it,
dropped his hat on the floor, buried his chin in his stock, vented his
usual pet phrase on such occasions, 'It's a fine day,' and resigned
himself moodily to social misery. If the talk did not suit him, he bore
it a certain time, silent, self-absorbed, as a man condemned to death,
then suddenly, with a brusque 'Well, good morning,' shuffled to the door
and blundered his way out, audibly cursing himself for his folly in
voluntarily making himself the laughing-stock of an idiot's critical
servants. It must have been hard to bear with such a man, whatever might
be his talent; and yet his dying words were, 'I've led a happy life.'"

That delightful humorist, Lamb, lived in Southampton Buildings, in 1800,
coming from Pentonville, and moving to Mitre Court Buildings, Fleet
Street. Here, then, must have taken place some of those enjoyable
evenings which have been so pleasantly sketched by Hazlitt, one of the
most favoured of Lamb's guests:--

"At Lamb's we used to have lively skirmishes, at the Thursday evening
parties. I doubt whether the small-coal man's musical parties could
exceed them. Oh, for the pen of John Buncle to consecrate a _petit
souvenir_ to their memory! There was Lamb himself, the most delightful,
the most provoking, the most witty, and the most sensible of men. He
always made the best pun and the best remark in the course of the
evening. His serious conversation, like his serious writing, is the
best. No one ever stammered out such fine, piquant, deep, eloquent
things, in half-a-dozen sentences, as he does. His jests scald like
tears, and he probes a question with a play upon words. What a
keen-laughing, hair-brained vein of home-felt truth! What choice venom!
How often did we cut into the haunch of letters! how we skimmed the
cream of criticism! How we picked out the marrow of authors! Need I go
over the names? They were but the old, everlasting set--Milton and
Shakespeare, Pope and Dryden, Steele and Addison, Swift and Gay,
Fielding, Smollet, Sterne, Richardson, Hogarth's prints, Claude's
landscapes, the Cartoons at Hampton Court, and all those things that,
having once been, must ever be. The Scotch novels had not then been
heard of, so we said nothing about them. In general we were hard upon
the moderns. The author of the _Rambler_ was only tolerated in Boswell's
life of him; and it was as much as anyone could do to edge in a word for
Junius. Lamb could not bear 'Gil Blas;' this was a fault. I remember the
greatest triumph I ever had was in persuading him, after some years'
difficulty, that Fielding was better than Smollett. On one occasion he
was for making out a list of persons famous in history that one would
wish to see again, at the head of whom were Pontius Pilate, Sir Thomas
Browne, and Dr. Faustus; but we black-balled most of his list. But with
what a gusto he would describe his favourite authors, Donne or Sir
Philip Sidney, and call their most crabbed passages _delicious_. He
tried them on his palate, as epicures taste olives, and his observations
had a smack in them like a roughness on the tongue. With what
discrimination he hinted a defect in what he admired most, as in saying
the display of the sumptuous banquet in 'Paradise Regained' was not in
true keeping, as the simplest fare was all that was necessary to tempt
the extremity of hunger, and stating that Adam and Eve, in 'Paradise
Lost,' were too much like married people. He has furnished many a text
for Coleridge to preach upon. There was no fuss or cant about him; nor
were his sweets or sours ever diluted with one particle of affectation."

Towards the unhappy close of Sheridan's life, when weighed down by
illness and debt (he had just lost the election at Stafford, and felt
clouds and darkness gathering closer round him), he was thrown for
several days (about 1814) into a sponging-house in Tooke's Court,
Cursitor Street, Chancery Lane. Tom Moore describes meeting him shortly
before with Lord Byron, at the table of Rogers, and some days after
Sheridan burst into tears on hearing that Byron had said that he
(Sheridan) had written the best comedy, the best operetta, the best
farce, the best address, and delivered the best oration ever produced in
England. Sheridan's books and pictures had been sold; and from his
sordid prison he wrote a piteous letter to his kind but severely
business-like friend, Whitbread, the brewer. "I have done everything,"
he says, "to obtain my release, but in vain; and, Whitbread, putting all
false professions of friendship and feeling out of the question, you
have no right to keep me here, for it is in truth your act; if you had
not forcibly withheld from me the £12,000, in consequence of a letter
from a miserable swindler, whose claim you in particular know to be a
lie, I should at least have been out of the reach of this miserable
insult; for that, and that only, lost me my seat in Parliament."

Even in the depths of this den, however, Sheridan still remained
sanguine; and when Whitbread came to release him, he found him
confidently calculating on the representation of Westminster, then about
to become vacant by the unjust disgrace of Lord Cochrane. On his return
home to his wife, fortified perhaps by wine, Sheridan burst into a long
and passionate fit of weeping, at the profanation, as he termed it,
which his person had suffered.

In Lord Eldon's youth, when he was simply plain John Scott, of the
Northern Circuit, he lived with the pretty little wife with whom he had
run away, in very frugal and humble lodgings in Cursitor Street, just
opposite No. 2, the chained and barred door of Sloman's sponging-house
(now the Imperial Club). Here, in after life he used to boast, although
his struggles had really been very few, that he used to run out into
Clare Market for sixpennyworth of sprats.

Mr. Disraeli, in "Henrietta Temple," an early novel written in the
Theodore Hook manner, has sketched Sloman's with a remarkable _verve_
and intimate knowledge of the place:--

"In pursuance of this suggestion, Captain Armine was ushered into the
best drawing-room with barred windows and treated in the most
aristocratic manner. It was evidently the chamber reserved only for
unfortunate gentlemen of the utmost distinction; it was simply furnished
with a mirror, a loo-table, and a very hard sofa. The walls were hung
with old-fashioned caricatures by Bunbury; the fire-irons were of
polished brass; over the mantelpiece was the portrait of the master of
the house, which was evidently a speaking likeness, and in which Captain
Armine fancied he traced no slight resemblance to his friend Mr.
Levison; and there were also some sources of literary amusement in the
room, in the shape of a Hebrew Bible and the Racing Calendar.

"After walking up and down the room for an hour, meditating over the
past--for it seemed hopeless to trouble himself any further with the
future--Ferdinand began to feel very faint, for it may be recollected
that he had not even breakfasted. So, pulling the bell-rope with such
force that it fell to the ground, a funny little waiter immediately
appeared, awed by the sovereign ring, and having indeed received private
intelligence from the bailiff that the gentleman in the drawing-room was
a regular nob.

"And here, perhaps, I should remind the reader that of all the great
distinctions in life none, perhaps, is more important than that which
divides mankind into the two great sections of _nobs_ and _snobs_. It
might seem at the first glance that if there were a place in the world
which should level all distinctions, it would be a debtors' prison; but
this would be quite an error. Almost at the very moment that Captain
Armine arrived at his sorrowful hotel, a poor devil of a tradesman, who
had been arrested for fifty pounds and torn from his wife and family,
had been forced to retire to the same asylum. He was introduced into
what is styled the coffee-room, being a long, low, unfurnished, sanded
chamber, with a table and benches; and being very anxious to communicate
with some friend, in order, if possible, to effect his release, and
prevent himself from being a bankrupt, he had continued meekly to ring
at intervals for the last half-hour, in order that he might write and
forward his letter. The waiter heard the coffee-room bell ring, but
never dreamed of noticing it; though the moment the signal of the
private room sounded, and sounded with so much emphasis, he rushed
upstairs three steps at a time, and instantly appeared before our hero;
and all this difference was occasioned by the simple circumstance that
Captain Armine was a _nob_, and the poor tradesman a _snob_.

"'I am hungry,' said Ferdinand. 'Can I get anything to eat at this
place?'

"'What would you like, sir? Anything you choose, sir--mutton chop, rump
steak, weal cutlet? Do you a fowl in a quarter of an hour--roast or
boiled, sir?'

"'I have not breakfasted yet; bring me some breakfast.'

"'Yes, sir,' said the waiter. 'Tea, sir? coffee, eggs, toast, buttered
toast, sir? Like any meat, sir? ham, sir? tongue, sir? Like a devil,
sir?'

"'Anything--everything; only be quick.'

"'Yes, sir,' responded the waiter. 'Beg pardon, sir. No offence, I hope;
but custom to pay here, sir. Shall be happy to accommodate you, sir.
Know what a gentleman is.'

"'Thank you, I will not trouble you,' said Ferdinand. 'Get me that note
changed.'

"'Yes, sir,' replied the little waiter, bowing very low, as he
disappeared.

"'Gentleman in best drawing-room wants breakfast. Gentleman in best
drawing-room wants change for a ten-pound note. Breakfast immediately
for gentleman in best drawing-room. Tea, coffee, toast, ham, tongue, and
a devil. A regular nob!'"

[Illustration: CLIFFORD'S INN (_see page 92_).]

Sloman's has been sketched both by Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Thackeray. In
"Vanity Fair" we find it described as the temporary abode of the
impecunious Colonel Crawley, and Moss describes his uncomfortable past
and present guests in a manner worthy of Fielding himself. There is the
"Honourable Capting Famish, of the Fiftieth Dragoons, whose 'mar' had
just taken him out after a fortnight, jest to punish him, who punished
the champagne, and had a party every night of regular tip-top swells
down from the clubs at the West End; and Capting Ragg and the
Honourable Deuceace, who lived, when at home, in the Temple. There's a
doctor of divinity upstairs, and five gents in the coffee-room who know
a good glass of wine when they see it. There is a tably d'hote at
half-past five in the front parlour, and cards and music afterwards."
Moss's house of durance the great novelist describes as splendid with
dirty huge old gilt cornices, dingy yellow satin hangings, while the
barred-up windows contrasted with "vast and oddly-gilt picture-frames
surrounding pieces sporting and sacred, all of which works were by the
greatest masters, and fetched the greatest prices, too, in the bill
transactions, in the course of which they were sold and bought over and
over again. A quick-eyed Jew boy locks and unlocks the door for
visitors, and a dark-eyed maid in curling-papers brings in the tea."

[Illustration: EXECUTION OF TOMKINS AND CHALLONER (_see page 95_).]

The Law Institute, that Grecian temple that has wedged itself into the
south-west end of Chancery Lane, was built in the stormy year of 1830.
On the Lord Mayor's day that year there was a riot; the Reform Bill was
still pending, and it was feared might not pass, for the Lords were
foaming at the mouth. The Iron Duke was detested as an opposer of all
change, good or bad; the new police were distasteful to the people;
above all, there was no Lord Mayor's show, and no man in brass armour to
look at. The rioters assembled outside No. 62, Fleet Street, were there
harangued by some dirty-faced demagogue, and then marched westward. At
Temple Bar the zealous new "Peelers" slammed the old muddy gates, to
stop the threatening mob; but the City Marshal, red in the face at this
breach of City privilege, re-opened them, and the mob roared approval
from a thousand distorted mouths. The more pugnacious reformers now
broke the scaffolding at the Law Institute into dangerous cudgels, and
some 300 of the unwashed patriots dashed through the Bar towards
Somerset House, full of vague notions of riot, and perhaps (delicious
thought!) plunder. But at St. Mary's, Commissioner Mayne and his men in
the blue tail-coats received the roughs in battle array, and at the
first charge the coward mob broke and fled.

In 1815, No. 68, Chancery Lane, not far from the north-east corner, was
the scene of an event which terminated in the legal murder of a young
and innocent girl. It was here, at Olibar Turner's, a law stationer's,
that Eliza Fenning lived, whom we have already mentioned when we entered
Hone's shop, in Fleet Street. This poor girl, on the eve of a happy
marriage, was hanged at Newgate, on the 26th of July, 1815, for
attempting to poison her master and mistress. The trial took place at
the Old Bailey on April 11th of the same year, and Mr. Gurney conducted
the prosecution before that rough, violent, unfeeling man, Sir John
Sylvester (_alias_ Black Jack), Recorder of London, who, it is said,
used to call the calendar "a bill of fare." The arsenic for rats, kept
in a drawer by Mr. Turner, had been mixed with the dough of some yeast
dumplings, of which all the family, including the poor servant, freely
partook. There was no evidence of malice, no suspicion of any ill-will,
except that Mrs. Turner had once scolded the girl for being free with
one of the clerks. It was, moreover, remembered that the girl had
particularly pressed her mistress to let her make some yeast dumplings
on the day in question. The defence was shamefully conducted. No one
pressed the fact of the girl having left the dough in the kitchen for
some time untended; nor was weight laid on the fact of Eliza Fenning's
own danger and sufferings. All the poor, half-paralysed, Irish girl
could say was, "I am truly innocent of the whole charge--indeed I am. I
liked my place. I was very comfortable." And there was pathos in those
simple, stammering words, more than in half the self-conscious
diffuseness of tragic poetry. In her white bridal dress (the cap she had
joyfully worked for herself) she went to her cruel death, still
repeating the words, "I am innocent." The funeral, at St. George the
Martyr, was attended by 10,000 people. Curran used to declaim eloquently
on her unhappy fate, and Mr. Charles Phillips wrote a glowing rhapsody
on this victim of legal dulness. But such mistakes not even Justice
herself can correct. A city mourned over her early grave; but the life
was taken, and there was no redress. Gadsden, the clerk, whom she had
warned not to eat any dumpling, as it was heavy (this was thought
suspicious), afterwards became a wealthy solicitor in Bedford Row.




CHAPTER VIII.

FLEET STREET (NORTHERN TRIBUTARIES--_continued_).

    Clifford's Inn--Dyer's Chambers--The Settlement after the Great
    Fire--Peter Wilkins and his Flying Wives--Fetter Lane--Waller's Plot
    and its Victims--Praise-God Barebone and his Doings--Charles Lamb at
    School--Hobbes the Philosopher--A Strange Marriage--Mrs.
    Brownrigge--Paul Whitehead--The Moravians--The Record Office and its
    Treasures--Rival Poets.


Clifford's Inn, originally a town house of the Lords Clifford, ancestors
of the Earls of Cumberland, given to them by Edward II., was first let
to the students of law in the eighteenth year of King Edward III., at a
time when might was too often right, and hard knocks decided legal
questions oftener than deed or statute. Harrison the regicide was in
youth clerk to an attorney in Clifford's Inn, but when the Civil War
broke out he rode off and joined the Puritan troopers.

Clifford's Inn is the oldest Inn in Chancery. There was formerly, we
learn from Mr. Jay, an office there, out of which were issued writs,
called "Bills of Middlesex," the appointment of which office was in the
gift of the senior judge of the Queen's Bench. "But what made this Inn
once noted was that all the six attorneys of the Marshalsea Court
(better known as the Palace Court) had their chambers there, as also had
the satellites, who paid so much per year for using their names and
looking at the nature of their practice. I should say that more misery
emanated from this small spot than from any one of the most populous
counties in England. The causes in this court were obliged to be tried
in the city of Westminster, near the Palace, and it was a melancholy
sight (except to lawyers) to observe in the court the crowd of every
description of persons suing one another. The most remarkable man in the
court was the extremely fat prothonotary, Mr. Hewlett, who sat under the
judge or the judge's deputy, with a wig on his head like a thrush's
nest, and with only one book before him, which was one of the volumes of
'Burns' Justice.' I knew a respectable gentleman (Mr. G. Dyer) who
resided here in chambers (where he died) over a firm of Marshalsea
attorneys. This gentleman, who wrote a history of Cambridge University
and a biography of Robinson of Cambridge, had been a Bluecoat boy, went
as a Grecian to Cambridge, and, after the University, visited almost
every celebrated library in Europe. It often struck me what a mighty
difference there was between what was going on in the one set of
chambers and the other underneath. At Mr. Dyer's I have seen Sir Walter
Scott, Southey, Coleridge, Lamb, Talfourd, and many other celebrated
literati, 'all benefiting by hearing, which was but of little advantage
to the owner.' In the lawyers' chambers below were people wrangling,
swearing, and shouting, and some, too, even fighting, the only relief to
which was the eternal stamping of cognovits, bound in a book as large as
a family Bible." The Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and Lord
Chelmsford both at one time practised in the County Court, purchased
their situations for large sums, and afterwards sold them. "It was not a
bad nursery for a young barrister, as he had an opportunity of
addressing a jury. There were only four counsel who had a right to
practise in this court, and if you took a first-rate advocate in there
specially, you were obliged to give briefs to two of the privileged
four. On the tombstone of one of the compensated Marshalsea attorneys is
cut the bitterly ironical epitaph, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for
they shall be called the children of God.""

Coke, that great luminary of English jurisprudence, resided at
Clifford's Inn for a year, and then entered himself at the Inner Temple.
Coke, it will be remembered, conducted the prosecution of both Essex and
Raleigh; in both cases he was grossly unfeeling to fallen great men.

The George Dyer mentioned by Mr. Jay was not the author of "The Fleece,"
but that eccentric and amiable old scholar sketched by Charles Lamb in
"The Essays of Elia." Dyer was a poet and an antiquary, and edited
nearly all the 140 volumes of the Delphin Classics for Valpy.
Alternately writer, Baptist minister, and reporter, he eventually
settled down in the monastic solitude of Clifford's Inn to compose
verses, annotate Greek plays, and write for the magazines. How the
worthy, simple-hearted bookworm once walked straight from Lamb's parlour
in Colebrooke Row into the New River, and was then fished out and
restored with brandy-and-water, Lamb was never tired of telling. At the
latter part of his life poor old Dyer became totally blind. He died in
1841.

The hall of Clifford's Inn is memorable as being the place where Sir
Matthew Hale and seventeen other wise and patient judges sat, after the
Great Fire of 1666, to adjudicate upon the claims of the landlords and
tenants of burned houses, and prevent future lawsuits. The difficulty of
discovering the old boundaries, under the mountains of ashes, must have
been great; and forty thick folio volumes of decisions, now preserved in
the British Museum, tell of many a legal headache in Clifford's Inn.

A very singular custom, and probably of great antiquity, prevails after
the dinners at Clifford's Inn. The society is divided into two
sections--the Principal and Aules, and the Junior or "Kentish Men." When
the meal is over, the chairman of the Kentish Men, standing up at the
Junior table, bows gravely to the Principal, takes from the hand of a
servitor standing by four small rolls of bread, silently dashes them
three times on the table, and then pushes them down to the further end
of the board, from whence they are removed. Perfect silence is preserved
during this mystic ceremony, which some antiquary who sees deeper into
millstones than his brethren thinks typifies offerings to Ceres, who
first taught mankind the use of laws and originated those peculiar
ornaments of civilisation, their expounders, the lawyers.

In the hall is preserved an old oak folding case, containing the
forty-seven rules of the institution, now almost defaced, and probably
of the reign of Henry VIII. The hall casement contains armorial glass
with the bearings of Baptist Hicks, Viscount Camden, &c.

Robert Pultock, the almost unknown author of that graceful story, "Peter
Wilkins," from whose flying women Southey drew his poetical notion of
the Glendoveer, or flying spirit, in his wild poem of "The Curse of
Kehama," lived in this Inn, paced on its terrace, and mused in its
garden. "'Peter Wilkins' is to my mind," says Coleridge (in his "Table
Talk"), "a work of uncommon beauty, and yet Stothard's illustrations
have _added_ beauties to it. If it were not for a certain tendency to
affectation, scarcely any praise could be too high for Stothard's
designs. They give me great pleasure. I believe that 'Robinson Crusoe'
and 'Peter Wilkins' could only have been written by islanders. No
continentalist could have conceived either tale. Davis's story is an
imitation of 'Peter Wilkins,' but there are many beautiful things in it,
especially his finding his wife crouching by the fireside, she having,
in his absence, plucked out all her feathers, to be like him! It would
require a very peculiar genius to add another tale, _ejusdem generis_,
to 'Peter Wilkins' and 'Robinson Crusoe.' I once projected such a thing,
but the difficulty of a pre-occupied ground stopped me. Perhaps La Motte
Fouqué might effect something; but I should fear that neither he nor any
other German could entirely understand what may be called the '_desert
island_' feeling. I would try the marvellous line of 'Peter Wilkins,' if
I attempted it, rather than the _real_ fiction of 'Robinson Crusoe.'"

The name of the author of "Peter Wilkins" was discovered only a few
years ago. In the year 1835 Mr. Nicol, the printer, sold by auction a
number of books and manuscripts in his possession, which had formerly
belonged to the well-known publisher, Dodsley; and in arranging them for
sale, the original agreement for the sale of the manuscript of "Peter
Wilkins," by the author, "Robert Pultock, of Clifford's Inn," to
Dodsley, was discovered. From this document it appears that Mr. Pultock
received twenty pounds, twelve copies of the work, and "the cuts of the
first impression"--_i.e._, a set of proof impressions of the fanciful
engravings that professed to illustrate the first edition of the
work--as the price of the entire copyright. This curious document had
been sold afterwards to John Wilkes, Esq., M.P.

Inns of Chancery, like Clifford's Inn, were originally law schools, to
prepare students for the larger Inns of Court.

Fetter Lane did not derive its name from the manufacture of Newgate
fetters. Stow, who died early in the reign of James I., calls it "Fewtor
Lane," from the Norman-French word "fewtor" (idle person, loafer),
perhaps analogous to the even less complimentary modern French word
"foutre" (blackguard). Mr. Jesse, however, derives the word "fetter"
from the Norman "defaytor" (defaulter), as if the lane had once been a
sanctuary for skulking debtors. In either case the derivation is
somewhat ignoble, but the inhabitants have long since lived it down.
Stow says it was once a mere byway leading to gardens (_quantum
mutatus!_) If men of the Bobadil and Pistol character ever did look over
the garden-gates and puff their Trinidado in the faces of respectable
passers-by, the lane at least regained its character later, when poets
and philosophers condescended to live in it, and persons of considerable
consequence rustled their silks and trailed their velvet along its
narrow roadway.

During the Middle Ages Fetter Lane slumbered, but it woke up on the
breaking out of the Civil War, and in 1643 became unpleasantly
celebrated as the spot where Waller's plot disastrously terminated.

In the second year of the war between King and Parliament, the Royal
successes at Bath, Bristol, and Cornwall, as well as the partial victory
at Edgehill, had roused the moderate party and chilled many lukewarm
adherents of the Puritans. The distrust of Pym and his friends soon
broke out into a reactionary plot, or, more probably, two plots, in one
or both of which Waller, the poet, was dangerously mixed up. The chief
conspirators were Tomkins and Challoner, the former Waller's
brother-in-law, a gentleman living in Holborn, near the end of Fetter
Lane, and a secretary to the Commissioners of the Royal Revenues; the
latter an eminent citizen, well known on 'Change. Many noblemen and
Cavalier officers and gentlemen had also a whispering knowledge of the
ticklish affair. The projects of these men, or of some of the more
desperate, at least, were--(1) to secure the king's children; (2) to
seize Mr. Pym, Colonel Hampden, and other members of Parliament
specially hostile to the king; (3) to arrest the Puritan Lord Mayor, and
all the sour-faced committee of the City Militia; (4) to capture the
outworks, forts, magazines, and gates of the Tower and City, and to
admit 3,000 Cavaliers sent from Oxford by a pre-arranged plan; (5) to
resist all payments imposed by Parliament for support of the armies of
the Earl of Essex. Unfortunately, just as the white ribbons were
preparing to tie round the arms of the conspirators, to mark them on the
night of action, a treacherous servant of Mr. Tomkins, of Holborn,
overheard Waller's plans from behind a convenient arras, and disclosed
them to the angry Parliament. In a cellar at Tomkins's the soldiers who
rummaged it found a commission sent from the king by Lady Aubigny, whose
husband had been recently killed at Edgehill.

Tomkins and Challoner were hung at the Holborn end of Fetter Lane. On
the ladder, Tomkins said:--"Gentlemen, I humbly acknowledge, in the
sight of Almighty God (to whom, and to angels, and to this great
assembly of people, I am now a spectacle), that my sins have deserved of
Him this untimely and shameful death; and, touching the business for
which I suffer, I acknowledge that affection to a brother-in-law, and
affection and gratitude to the king, whose bread I have eaten now about
twenty-two years (I have been servant to him when he was prince, and
ever since: it will be twenty-three years in August next)--I confess
these two motives drew me into this foolish business. I have often since
declared to good friends that I was glad it was discovered, because it
might have occasioned very ill consequences; and truly I have repented
having any hand in it."

Challoner was equally fatal against Waller, and said, when at the same
giddy altitude as Tomkins, "Gentlemen, this is the happiest day that
ever I had. I shall now, gentlemen, declare a little more of the
occasion of this, as I am desired by Mr. Peters [the famous Puritan
divine, Hugh Peters] to give him and the world satisfaction in it. It
came from Mr. Waller, under this notion, that if we could make a
moderate party here in London, and stand betwixt and in the gap to unite
the king and the Parliament, it would be a very acceptable work, for now
the three kingdoms lay a-bleeding; and unless that were done, there was
no hopes to unite them," &c.

Waller had a very narrow escape, but he extricated himself with the most
subtle skill, perhaps secretly aided by his kinsman, Cromwell. He talked
of his "carnal eye," of his repentance, of the danger of letting the
army try a member of the House. As Lord Clarendon says: "With incredible
dissimulation he acted such a remorse of conscience, that his trial was
put off, out of Christian compassion, till he could recover his
understanding." In the meantime, he bribed the Puritan preachers, and
listened with humble deference to their prayers for his repentance. He
bent abjectly before the House; and eventually, with a year's
imprisonment and a fine of £10,000, obtained leave to retire to France.
Having spent all his money in Paris, Waller at last obtained permission
from Cromwell to return to England. "There cannot," says Clarendon, "be
a greater evidence of the inestimable value of his (Waller's) parts,
than that he lived after this in the good esteem and affection of many,
the pity of most, and the reproach and scorn of few or none." The body
of the unlucky Tomkins was buried in the churchyard of St. Andrew's,
Holborn.

According to Peter Cunningham, that shining light of the Puritan party
in the early days of Cromwell, "Praise-God Barebone," was a
leather-seller in Fetter Lane, having a house, either at the same time
or later, called the "Lock and Key," near Crane Court, at which place
his son, a great speculator and builder, afterwards resided. Barebone
(probably Barbon, of a French Huguenot family) was one of those gloomy
religionists who looked on surplices, plum-porridge, theatres, dances,
Christmas pudding, and homicide as equally detestable, and did his best
to shut out all sunshine from that long, rainy, stormy day that is
called life. He was at the head of that fanatical, tender-conscienced
Parliament of 1653 that Cromwell convened from among the elect in
London, after untoward Sir Harry Vane had been expelled from Westminster
at the muzzles of Pride's muskets. Of Barebone, also, and his crochetty,
impracticable fellows, Cromwell had soon enough; and, in despair of all
aid but from his own brain and hand, he then took the title of Lord
Protector, and became the most inflexible and wisest monarch we have
ever had, or indeed ever hope to have. Barebone is first heard of in
local history as preaching in 1641, together with Mr. Greene, a
felt-maker, at a conventicle in Fetter Lane, a place always renowned for
its heterodoxy. The thoughtless Cavaliers, who did not like long
sermons, and thought all religion but their own hypocrisy, delighted in
gaunt Barebone's appropriate name, and made fun of him in those ribald
ballads in which they consigned red-nosed Noll, the brewer, to the
reddest and hottest portion of the unknown world. At the Restoration,
when all Fleet Street was ablaze with bonfires to roast the Rumps, the
street boys, always on the strongest side, broke poor Barebone's
windows, though he had been constable and common-councilman, and was a
wealthy leather-seller to boot. But he was not looked upon as of the
regicide or extreme dangerous party, and a year afterwards attended a
vestry-meeting unmolested. After the Great Fire he came to the
Clifford's Inn Appeal Court about his Fleet Street house, which had been
burnt over the heads of his tenants, and eventually he rebuilt it.

In Irving's "History of Dissenters" there is a curious account, from an
old pamphlet entitled "New Preachers," "of Barebone, Greene the
felt-maker, Spencer the horse-rubber, Quartermaine the brewer's clerk,
and some few others, who are mighty sticklers in this new kind of
talking trade, which many ignorant coxcombs call preaching; whereunto is
added the last tumult in Fleet Street, raised by the disorderly
preachment, pratings, and prattlings of Mr. Barebone the leather-seller,
and Mr. Greene the felt-maker, on Sunday last, the 19th December."

The tumult alluded to is thus described: "A brief touch in memory of the
fiery zeal of Mr. Barebone, a reverend unlearned leather-seller, who
with Mr. Greene the felt-maker were both taken preaching or prating in a
conventicle amongst a hundred persons, on Sunday, the 19th of December
last, 1641."

One of the pleasantest memories of Fetter Lane is that which connects it
with the school-days of that delightful essay-writer, Charles Lamb. He
himself, in one of Hone's chatty books, has described the school, and
Bird, its master, in his own charming way.

[Illustration: ROASTING THE RUMPS IN FLEET STREET (FROM AN OLD PRINT)
(_see page 95_).]

Both Lamb and his sister, says Mr. Fitzgerald, in his Memoir of Lamb,
went to a school where Starkey had been usher about a year before they
came to it--a room that looked into "a discoloured, dingy garden, in the
passage leading from Fetter Lane into Bartlett's Buildings. This was
close to Holborn. Queen Street, where Lamb lived when a boy, was in
Holborn." Bird is described as an "eminent writer" who taught
mathematics, which was no more than "cyphering." "Heaven knows what
languages were taught there. I am sure that neither my sister nor myself
brought any out of it but a little of our native English. It was, in
fact, a humble day-school." Bird and Cook, he says, were the masters.
Bird had "that peculiar mild tone--especially when he was inflicting
punishment--which is so much more terrible to children than the angriest
looks and gestures. Whippings were not frequent; but when they took
place, the correction was performed in a private room adjoining, whence
we could only hear the plaints, but saw nothing. This heightened the
decorum and solemnity." He then describes the ferule--"that almost
obsolete weapon now." "To make him look more formidable--if a pedagogue
had need of these heightenings--Bird wore one of those flowered Indian
gowns formerly in use with schoolmasters, the strange figures upon which
we used to interpret into hieroglyphics of pain and suffering." This is
in Lamb's most delightful vein. So, too, with other incidents of the
school, especially "our little leaden inkstands, not separately
subsisting, but sunk into the desks; and the agonising benches on which
we were all cramped together, and yet encouraged to attain a free hand,
unattainable in this position." Lamb recollected even his first
copy--"Art improves nature," and could look back with "pardonable pride
to his carrying off the first premium for spelling. Long after,
certainly thirty years, the school was still going on, only there was a
Latin inscription over the entrance in the lane, unknown in our humbler
days." In the evening was a short attendance of girls, to which Miss
Lamb went, and she recollected the theatricals, and even _Cato_ being
performed by the young gentlemen. "She describes the cast of the
characters with relish. 'Martha,' by the handsome Edgar Hickman, who
afterwards went to Africa."

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE MORAVIAN CHAPEL IN FETTER LANE (_see page
100_).]

The Starkey mentioned by Lamb was a poor, crippled dwarf, generally
known at Newcastle in his old age as "Captain Starkey," the butt of the
street-boys and the pensioner of benevolent citizens. In 1818, when he
had been an inmate of the Freemen's Hospital, Newcastle, for twenty-six
years, the poor old ex-usher of the Fetter Lane school wrote "The
Memoirs of his Life," a humble little pamphlet of only fourteen pages,
upon which Hone good-naturedly wrote an article which educed Lamb's
pleasant postscript. Starkey, it appears, had been usher, not in Lamb's
own time, but in that of Mary Lamb's, who came after her brother had
left. She describes Starkey running away on one occasion, being brought
back by his father, and sitting the remainder of the day with his head
buried in his hands, even the most mischievous boys respecting his utter
desolation.

That clever but mischievous advocate of divine right and absolute power,
Hobbes of Malmesbury, was lodging in Fetter Lane when he published his
"Leviathan." He was not there, however, in 1660, at the Restoration,
since we are told that on that _glorious_ occasion he was standing at
the door of Salisbury House, the mansion of his kind and generous
patron, the Earl of Devonshire; and that the king, formerly Hobbes's
pupil in mathematics, nodded to his old tutor. A short duodecimo sketch
of Hobbes may not be uninteresting. This sceptical philosopher, hardened
into dogmatic selfishness by exile, was the son of a Wiltshire
clergyman, and he first saw the light the year of the Armada, his mother
being prematurely confined during the first panic of the Spanish
invasion. Hobbes, with that same want of self-respect and love of
independence that actuated Gay and Thomson, remained his whole life a
tolerated pensioner of his former pupil, the Earl of Devonshire;
bearing, no doubt, in his time many rebuffs; for pride will be proud,
and rich men require wisdom, when in their pay, to remember its place.
Hobbes in his time was a friend of, and, it is said, a translator for,
Lord Bacon; and Ben Jonson, that ripe scholar, revised his sound
translation of "Thucydides." He sat at the feet of Galileo and by the
side of Gassendi and Descartes. While in Fetter Lane he associated with
Harvey, Selden, and Cowley. He talked and wrangled with the wise men of
half Europe. He had sat at Richelieu's table and been loaded with
honours by Cosmo de Medici. The laurels Hobbes won in the schools he
lost on Parnassus. His translation of Homer is tasteless and
contemptible. In mathematics, too, he was dismounted by Wallis and
others. Personally he had weaknesses. He was afraid of apparitions, he
dreaded assassination, and had a fear that Burnet and the bishops would
burn him as a heretic. His philosophy, though useful, as Mr. Mill says,
in expanding free thought and exciting inquiry, was based on
selfishness. Nothing can be falser and more detestable than the maxims
of this sage of the Restoration and of reaction. He holds the natural
condition of man to be a state of war--a war of all men against all men;
might making right, and the conqueror trampling down all the rest. The
civil laws, he declares, are the only standards of good or evil. The
sovereign, he asserts, possesses absolute power, and is not bound by any
compact with the people (who pay him as their head servant). Nothing he
does can be wrong. The sovereign has the right of interpreting
Scripture; and he thinks that Christians are bound to obey the laws of
an infidel king, even in matters of religion. He sneers at the belief in
a future state, and hints at materialism. These monstrous doctrines,
which even Charles II. would not fully sanction, were naturally battered
and bombarded by Harrington, Dr. Henry More, and others. Hobbes was also
vehemently attacked by that disagreeable Dr. Fell, the subject of the
well-known epigram,--

    "I do not like thee, Dr. Fell;
    The reason why I cannot tell;
    But this I know, and know full well,
    I do not like thee, Dr. Fell,"

who rudely called Hobbes "_irritabile illud et vanissimum Malmsburiense
animal_." The philosopher of Fetter Lane, who was short-sighted enough
to deride the early efforts of the Royal Society, though they were
founded on the strict inductive Baconian theory, seems to have been a
vain man, loving paradox rather than truth, and desirous of founding, at
all risks, a new school of philosophy. The Civil War had warped him;
solitary thinking had turned him into a cynical dogmatiser. He was timid
as Erasmus; and once confessed that if he was cast into a deep pit, and
the devil should put down his hot cloven foot, he would take hold of it
to draw himself out. This was not the metal that such men as Luther and
Latimer were made of; but it served for the Aristotle of Rochester and
Buckingham. A wit of the day proposed as Hobbes's epitaph the simple
words, "The philosopher's stone."

Hobbes's professed rule of health was to dedicate the morning to his
exercise and the afternoon to his studies. At his first rising,
therefore, he walked out and climbed any hill within his reach; or, if
the weather was not dry, he fatigued himself within doors by some
exercise or other, in order to perspire, recommending that practice upon
this opinion, that an old man had more moisture than heat, and therefore
by such motion heat was to be acquired and moisture expelled. After this
he took a comfortable breakfast, then went round the lodgings to wait
upon the earl, the countess, the children, and any considerable
strangers, paying some short addresses to all of them. He kept these
rounds till about twelve o'clock, when he had a little dinner provided
for him, which he ate always by himself, without ceremony. Soon after
dinner he retired to his study, and had his candle, with ten or twelve
pipes of tobacco, laid by him; then, shutting his door, he fell to
smoking, thinking, and writing for several hours.

At a small coal-shed (just one of those black bins still to be seen at
the south-west end) in Fetter Lane, Dr. Johnson's friend, Levett, the
poor apothecary, met a woman of bad character, who duped him into
marriage. The whole story, Dr. Johnson used to say, was as marvellous as
any page of "The Arabian Nights." Lord Macaulay, in his highly-coloured
and somewhat exaggerated way, calls Levett "an old quack doctor, who
bled and dosed coal-heavers and hackney-coachmen, and received for fees
crusts of bread, bits of bacon, glasses of gin, and a little copper."
Levett, however, was neither a quack nor a doctor, but an honest man and
an apothecary, and the list of his patients is entirely hypothetical.
This simple-hearted, benevolent man was persuaded by the proprietress of
the coal-shed that she had been defrauded of her birthright by her
kinsman, a man of fortune. Levett, then nearly sixty, married her; and
four months after, a writ was issued against him for debts contracted by
his wife, and he had to lie close to avoid the gaol. Not long afterwards
his amiable wife ran away from him, and, being taken up for picking
pockets, was tried at the Old Bailey, where she defended herself, and
was acquitted. Dr. Johnson then, touched by Levett's misfortunes and
goodness, took him to his own home at Bolt Court.

It was in a house on the east side of this lane, looking into
Fleur-de-Lys Court, that (in 1767) Elizabeth Brownrigge, midwife to the
St. Dunstan's workhouse and wife of a house-painter, cruelly ill-used
her two female apprentices. Mary Jones, one of these unfortunate
children, after being often beaten, ran back to the Foundling, from
whence she had been taken. On the remaining one, Mary Mitchell, the
wrath of the avaricious hag now fell with redoubled severity. The poor
creature was perpetually being stripped and beaten, was frequently
chained up at night nearly naked, was scratched, and her tongue cut with
scissors. It was the constant practice of Mrs. Brownrigge to fasten the
girl's hands to a rope slung from a beam in the kitchen, after which
this old wretch beat her four or five times in the same day with a broom
or a whip. The moanings and groans of the dying child, whose wounds were
mortifying from neglect, aroused the pity of a baker opposite, who sent
the overseers of the parish to see the child, who was found hid in a
buffet cupboard. She was taken to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and soon
died. Brownrigge was at once arrested; but Mrs. Brownrigge and her son,
disguising themselves in Rag Fair, fled to Wandsworth, and there took
lodgings in a chandler's shop, where they were arrested. The woman was
tried at the Old Bailey sessions, and found guilty of murder. Mr. Silas
Told, an excellent Methodist preacher, who attended her in the condemned
cell, has left a curious, simple-hearted account of her behaviour and of
what he considered her repentance. She _talked_ a great deal of
religion, and stood much on the goodness of her past life. The mob raged
terribly as she passed through the streets on her way to Tyburn. The
women especially screamed, "Tear off her hat; let us see her face! The
devil will fetch her!" and threw stones and mud, pitiless in their
hatred. After execution her corpse was thrust into a hackney-coach and
driven to Surgeons' Hall for dissection; the skeleton is still preserved
in a London collection. The cruel hag's husband and son were sentenced
to six months' imprisonment. A curious old drawing is still extant,
representing Mrs. Brownrigge in the condemned cell. She wears a large,
broad-brimmed gipsy hat, tied under her chin, and a cape; and her long,
hard face wears a horrible smirk of resigned hypocrisy. Canning, in one
of his bitter banters on Southey's republican odes, writes,--

                                  "For this act
    Did Brownrigge swing. Harsh laws! But time shall come
    When France shall reign, and laws be all repealed."

In Castle Street (an offshoot of Fetter Lane), in 1709-10 (Queen Anne),
at the house of his father, a master tailor, was born a very small poet,
Paul Whitehead. This poor satirist and worthless man became a Jacobite
barrister and protégé of Bubb Doddington and the Prince of Wales and his
Leicester Fields Court. For libelling Whig noblemen, in his poem called
"Manners," Dodsley, Whitehead's publisher, was summoned by the
Ministers, who wished to intimidate Pope, before the House of Lords. He
appears to have been an atheist, and was a member of the infamous
Hell-Fire Club, that held its obscene and blasphemous orgies at
Medmenham Abbey, in Buckinghamshire, the seat of Sir Francis Dashwood,
where every member assumed the name of an Apostle. Later in life
Whitehead was bought off by the Ministry, and then settled down at a
villa on Twickenham Common, where Hogarth used to visit him. If
Whitehead is ever remembered, it will be only for that splash of vitriol
that Churchill threw in his face, when he wrote of the turncoat,--

    "May I--can worse disgrace on manhood fall?--
    Be born a Whitehead and baptised a Paul."

It was this Whitehead, with Carey, the surgeon of the Prince of Wales,
who got up a mock procession, in ridicule of the Freemasons' annual
cavalcade from Brooke Street to Haberdashers' Hall. The ribald
procession consisted of shoe-blacks and chimney-sweeps, in carts drawn
by asses, followed by a mourning-coach with six horses, each of a
different colour. The City authorities very properly refused to let them
pass through Temple Bar, but they waited there and saluted the Masons.
Hogarth published a print of "The Scald Miserables," which is coarse,
and even dull. The Prince of Wales, with more good sense than usual,
dismissed Carey for this offensive buffoonery. Whitehead bequeathed his
heart to Earl Despenser, who buried it in his mausoleum with absurd
ceremonial.

At Pemberton Row, formerly Three-Leg Alley, Fetter Lane, lived that very
indifferent poet but admirable miniature-painter of Charles II.'s time,
Flatman. He was a briefless barrister of the Inner Temple, and resided
with his father till the period of his death. Anthony Wood tells us that
having written a scurrilous ballad against marriage, beginning,--

    "Like a dog with a bottle tied close to his tail,
    Like a Tory in a bog, or a thief in a jail,"

his comrades serenaded him with the song on his wedding-night. Rochester
wrote some vigorous lines on Flatman, which are not unworthy even of
Dryden himself,--

    "Not that slow drudge, in swift Pindaric strains,
    Flatman, who Cowley imitates with pains,
    And drives a jaded Muse, whipt with loose reins."

We find Dr. Johnson quoting these lines with approval, in a conversation
in which he suggested that Pope had partly borrowed his "Dying
Christian" from Flatman.

"The chapel of the United Brethren, or Moravians, 32, Fetter Lane," says
Smith, in his "Streets of London," "was the meeting-house of the
celebrated Thomas Bradbury. During the riots which occurred on the trial
of Dr. Sacheveral, this chapel was assaulted by the mob and dismantled,
the preacher himself escaping with some difficulty. The other
meeting-houses that suffered on this occasion were those of Daniel
Burgess, in New Court, Carey Street; Mr. Earl's, in Hanover Street, Long
Acre; Mr. Taylor's, Leather Lane; Mr. Wright's, Great Carter Lane; and
Mr. Hamilton's, in St. John's Square, Clerkenwell. With the benches and
pulpits of several of these, the mob, after conducting Dr. Sacheveral in
triumph to his lodgings in the Temple, made a bonfire in the midst of
Lincoln's Inn Fields, around which they danced with shouts of 'High
Church and Sacheveral,' swearing, if they found Daniel Burgess, that
they would roast him in his own pulpit in the midst of the pile."

This Moravian chapel was one of the original eight conventicles where
Divine worship was permitted. Baxter preached here in 1672, and Wesley
and Whitefield also struck great blows at the devil in this pulpit,
where Zinzendorf's followers afterwards prayed and sang their fervent
hymns.

Count Zinzendorf, the poet, theologian, pastor, missionary, and
statesman, who first gave the Moravian body a vital organisation, and
who preached in Fetter Lane to the most tolerant class of all
Protestants, was born in Dresden in 1700. His ancestors, originally from
Austria, had been Crusaders and Counts of Zinzendorf. One of the
Zinzendorfs had been among the earliest converts to Lutheranism, and
became a voluntary exile for the faith. The count's father was one of
the Pietists, a sect protected by the first king of Prussia, the father
of Frederick the Great. The founder of the Pietists laid special stress
on the doctrine of conversion by a sudden transformation of the heart
and will. It was a young Moravian missionary to Georgia who first
induced Wesley to embrace the vital doctrine of justification by faith.
For a long time there was a close kinsmanship maintained between
Whitefield, the Wesleys, and the Moravians; but eventually Wesley
pronounced Zinzendorf as verging on Antinomianism, while Zinzendorf
objected to Wesley's doctrine of sinless perfection. In 1722 Zinzendorf
gave an asylum to two families of persecuted Moravian brothers, and
built houses for them on a spot he called Hernhut ("watched of the
Lord"), a marshy tract in Saxony, near the main road to Zittau. These
simple and pious men were Taborites, a section of the old Hussites, who
had renounced obedience to the Pope and embraced the Vaudois doctrines.
This was the first formation of the Moravian sect.

"On January 24th, 1672-73," says Baxter, "I began a Tuesday lecture at
Mr. Turner's church, in New Street, near Fetter Lane, with great
convenience and God's encouraging blessing; but I never took a penny for
it from any one." The chapel in which Baxter officiated in Fetter Lane
is that between Nevil's Court and New Street, once occupied by the
Moravians. It appears to have existed, though perhaps in a different
form, before the Great Fire of London. Turner, who was the first
minister, was a very active man during the plague. He was ejected from
Sunbury, in Middlesex, and continued to preach in Fetter Lane till
towards the end of the reign of Charles II., when he removed to Leather
Lane. Baxter carried on the Tuesday morning lecture till the 24th of
August, 1682. The Church which then met in it was under the care of Mr.
Lobb, whose predecessor had been Thankful Owen, president of St. John's
College, Oxford. Ejected by the commissioners in 1660, he became a
preacher in Fetter Lane. "He was," says Calamy, "a man of genteel
learning and an excellent temper, admir'd for an uncommon fluency and
easiness and sweetness in all his composures. After he was ejected he
retired to London, where he preached privately and was much respected.
He dy'd at his house in Hatton Garden, April 1, 1681. He was preparing
for the press, and had almost finished, a book entituled 'Imago
Imaginis,' the design of which was to show that Rome Papal was an image
of Rome Pagan."

At No. 96, Fetter Lane is an Independent Chapel, whose first minister
was Dr. Thomas Goodwin, 1660-1681--troublous times for Dissenters.
Goodwin had been a pastor in Holland and a favourite of Cromwell. The
Protector made him one of his commissioners for selecting preachers, and
he was also President of Magdalen College, Oxford. When Cromwell became
sick unto death, Goodwin boldly prophesied his recovery, and when the
great man died, in spite of him, he is said to have exclaimed, "Thou
hast deceived us, and we are deceived;" which is no doubt a Cavalier
calumny. On the Restoration, the Oxford men showed Goodwin the door, and
he retired to the seclusion of Fetter Lane. He seems to have been a good
scholar and an eminent Calvinist divine, and he left on Puritan shelves
five ponderous folio volumes of his works. The present chapel, says Mr.
Noble, dates from 1732, and the pastor is the Rev. John Spurgeon, the
father of the eloquent Baptist preacher, the Rev. C.H. Spurgeon.

The disgraceful disorder of the national records had long been a subject
of regret among English antiquaries. There was no certainty of finding
any required document among such a mass of ill-stored, dusty,
unclassified bundles and rolls--many of them never opened since the day
King John sullenly signed Magna Charta. We are a great conservative
people, and abuses take a long time ripening before they seem to us fit
for removal, so it happened that this evil went on several centuries
before it roused the attention of Parliament, and then it was talked
over and over, till in 1850 something was at last done. It was resolved
to build a special storehouse for national records, where the various
collections might be united under one roof, and there be arranged and
classified by learned men. The first stone of a magnificent Gothic
building was therefore laid by Lord Romilly on 24th May, 1851, and
slowly and surely, in the Anglo-Saxon manner, the walls grew till, in
the summer of 1866, all the new Search Offices were formally opened, to
the great convenience of all students of records. The architect, Sir
James Pennethorne, has produced a stately building, useful for its
purpose, but not very remarkable for picturesque light and shade, and
tame, as all imitations of bygone ages, adapted for bygone uses, must
ever be. The number of records stored within this building can only be
reckoned by "_hundreds of millions_." These are Sir Thomas Duffus
Hardy's own words. There, in cramped bundles and rolls, dusty as papyri,
lie charters and official notices that once made mailed knights tremble
and proud priests shake in their sandals. Now--the magic gone, the words
powerless--they lie in their several binns in strange companionship.
Many years will elapse before all these records of State and Government
documents can be classified; but the small staff is industrious, Sir
Thomas Hardy is working, and in time the Augean stable of crabbed
writings will be cleansed and ranged in order. The useful and accurate
calendars of Everett Green, John Bruce, &c., are books of reference
invaluable to historical students; and the old chronicles published by
order of Lord Romilly, so long Master of the Rolls and Keeper of the
Records, are most useful mines for the Froudes and Freemans of the
future. In time it is hoped that all the episcopal records of England
will be gathered together in this great treasure-house, and that many of
our English noblemen will imitate the patriotic generosity of Lord
Shaftesbury, in contributing their family papers to the same Gaza in
Fetter Lane. Under the concentrated gaze of learned eyes, family papers
(valueless and almost unintelligible to their original possessors),
often reveal very curious and important facts. Mere lumber in the
manor-house, fit only for the butterman, sometimes turns to leaves of
gold when submitted to such microscopic analysis. It was such a gift
that led to the discovery of the Locke papers among the records of the
nobleman above mentioned. The pleasant rooms of the Record Office are
open to all applicants; nor is any reference or troublesome preliminary
form required from those wishing to consult Court rolls or State papers
over twenty years old. Among other priceless treasures the Record Office
contains the original, uninjured, Domesday Book, compiled by order of
William, the conqueror of England. It is written in a beautiful clerkly
hand in close fine character, and is in a perfect state of preservation.
It is in two volumes, the covers of which are cut with due economy from
the same skin of parchment. Bound in massive board covers, and kept with
religious care under glass cases, the precious volumes seem indeed
likely to last to the very break of doom. It is curious to remark that
London only occupies some three or four pages. There is also preserved
the original Papal Bull sent to Henry VIII., with a golden seal attached
to it, the work of Benvenuto Cellini. The same collection contains the
celebrated Treaty of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, the initial
portrait of Francis I. being beautifully illuminated and the vellum
volume adorned by an exquisite gold seal, in the finest relievo, also by
Benvenuto Cellini. The figures in this seal are so perfect in their
finish, that even the knee-cap of one of the nymphs is shaped with the
strictest anatomical accuracy. The visitor should also see the
interesting Inventory Books relating to the foundation of Henry VII.'s
chapel.

The national records were formerly bundled up any how in the Rolls
Chapel, the White Tower, the Chapter House, Westminster Abbey, Carlton
Ride in St. James's Park, the State Paper Office, and the Prerogative
Will Office. No one knew where anything was. They were unnoticed--mere
dusty lumber, in fact--useless to men or printers' devils. Hot-headed
Hugh Peters, during the Commonwealth, had, in his hatred of royalty,
proposed to make one great heap of them and burn them up in Smithfield.
In that way he hoped to clear the ground of many mischievous traditions.
This desperate act of Communism that tough-headed old lawyer, Prynne,
opposed tooth and nail. In 1656 he wrote a pamphlet, which he called "A
Short Demurrer against Cromwell's Project of Recalling the Jews from
their Banishment," and in this work he very nobly epitomizes the value
of these treasures; indeed, there could not be found a more lucid
syllabus of the contents of the present Record Office than Prynne has
there set forth.

[Illustration: HOUSE SAID TO HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED BY DRYDEN IN FETTER LANE
(_see page 102_).]

Dryden and Otway were contemporaries, and lived, it is said, for some
time opposite to each other in Fetter Lane. One morning the latter
happened to call upon his brother bard about breakfast-time, but was
told by the servant that his master was gone to breakfast with the Earl
of Pembroke. "Very well," said Otway, "tell your master that I will call
to-morrow morning." Accordingly he called about the same hour. "Well, is
your master at home now?" "No, sir; he is just gone to breakfast with
the Duke of Buckingham." "The d---- he is," said Otway, and, actuated
either by envy, pride, or disappointment, in a kind of involuntary
manner, he took up a piece of chalk which lay on a table which stood
upon the landing-place, near Dryden's chamber, and wrote over the
door,--

    "Here lives Dryden, a poet and a wit."

The next morning, at breakfast, Dryden recognised the handwriting, and
told the servant to go to Otway and desire his company to breakfast with
him. In the meantime, to Otway's line of

    "Here lives Dryden, _a poet and a wit_,"

he added,--

    "This was written by Otway, _opposite_."

When Otway arrived he saw that his line was linked with a rhyme, and
being a man of rather petulant disposition, he took it in dudgeon,
and, turning upon his heel, told Dryden "that he was welcome to keep his
wit and his breakfast to himself."

[Illustration: A MEETING OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY IN CRANE COURT (_see p.
106_).]

A curious old book, a _vade mecum_ for malt worms _temp._ George I.,
thus immortalises the patriotism of a tavern-keeper in Fetter Lane:--

    "Though there are some who, with invidious look,
    Have styl'd this bird more like a Russian duck
    Than what he stands depicted for on sign,
    He proves he well has croaked for prey within,
    From massy tankards, formed of silver plate,
    That walk throughout this noted house in state,
    Ever since _Englesfield_, in _Anna's_ reign,
    To compliment each fortunate campaign,
    Made one be hammered out for ev'ry town was ta'en."




CHAPTER IX.

FLEET STREET (TRIBUTARIES--CRANE COURT, JOHNSON'S COURT, BOLT COURT).

    Removal of the Royal Society from Gresham College--Opposition to
    Newton--Objections to Removal--The First Catalogue--Swift's jeer at
    the Society--Franklin's Lightning Conductor and King George
    III.--Sir Hans Sloane insulted--The Scottish Society--Wilkes's
    Printer--The Delphin Classics--Johnson's Court--Johnson's Opinion on
    Pope and Dryden--His Removal to Bolt Court--The _John Bull_--Hook
    and Terry--Prosecutions for Libel--Hook's Impudence.


In the old times, when newspapers could not legally be published without
a stamp, "various ingenious devices," says a writer in the _Bookseller_
(1867), "were employed to deceive and mislead the officers employed by
the Government. Many of the unstamped papers were printed in Crane
Court, Fleet Street; and there, on their several days of publication,
the officers of the Somerset House solicitor would watch, ready to seize
them immediately they came from the press. But the printers were quite
equal to the emergency. They would make up sham parcels of waste-paper,
and send them out with an ostentatious show of secrecy. The
officers--simple fellows enough, though they were called 'Government
spies,' 'Somerset House myrmidons,' and other opprobrious names, in the
unstamped papers--duly took possession of the parcels, after a decent
show of resistance by their bearers, while the real newspapers intended
for sale to the public were sent flying by thousands down a shoot in
Fleur-de-Lys Court, and thence distributed in the course of the next
hour or two all over the town."

The Royal Society came to Crane Court from Gresham College in 1710, and
removed in 1782 to Somerset House. This society, according to Dr.
Wallis, one of the earliest members, originated in London in 1645, when
Dr. Wilkins and certain philosophical friends met weekly to discuss
scientific questions. They afterwards met at Oxford, and in Gresham
College, till that place was turned into a Puritan barracks. After the
Restoration, in 1662, the king, wishing to turn men's minds to
philosophy--or, indeed, anywhere away from politics--incorporated the
members in what Boyle has called "the Invisible College," and gave it
the name of the Royal Society. In 1710, the Mercers' Company growing
tired of their visitors, the society moved to a house rebuilt by Wren in
1670, and purchased by the society for £1,450. It had been the
residence, before the Great Fire, of Dr. Nicholas Barebone (son of
Praise-God Barebone), a great building speculator, who had much property
in the Strand, and who was the first promoter of the Phoenix Fire
Office. It seems to have been thought at the time that Newton was
somewhat despotic in his announcement of the removal, and the members in
council grumbled at the new house, and complained of it as small,
inconvenient, and dilapidated. Nevertheless, Sir Isaac, unaccustomed to
opposition, overruled all these objections, and the society flourished
in this Fleet Street "close" seventy-two years. Before the society came
to Crane Court, Pepys and Wren had been presidents; while at Crane Court
the presidents were--Newton (1703-1727), Sir Thomas Hoare, Matthew
Folkes, Esq. (whose portrait Hogarth painted), the Earl of Macclesfield,
the Earl of Morton, James Burrow, Esq., James West, Esq., Sir John
Pringle, and Sir Joseph Banks. The earliest records of this useful
society are filled with accounts of experiments on the Baconian
inductive principle, many of which now appear to us puerile, but which
were valuable in the childhood of science. Among the labours of the
society while in Fleet Street, we may enumerate its efforts to promote
inoculation, 1714-1722; electrical experiments on fourteen miles of
wires near Shooter's Hill, 1745; ventilation, _apropos_ of gaol fever,
1750; discussions on Cavendish's improved thermometers, 1757; a medal to
Dollond for experiments on the laws of light, 1758; observations on the
transit of Venus, in 1761; superintendence of the Observatory at
Greenwich, 1765; observations of the transit of Venus in the Pacific,
1769 (Lieutenant Cook commenced the expedition); the promotion of an
Arctic expedition, 1773; the _Racehorse_ meteorological observations,
1773; experiments on lightning conductors by Franklin, Cavendish, &c.,
1772. The removal of the society was, as we have said, at first strongly
objected to, and in a pamphlet published at the time, the new purchase
is thus described: "The approach to it, I confess, is very fair and
handsome, through a long court; but, then, they have no other property
in this than in the street before it, and in a heavy rain a man may
hardly escape being thoroughly wet before he can pass through it. The
front of the house towards the garden is nearly half as long again as
that towards Crane Court. Upon the ground floor there is a little hall,
and a direct passage from the stairs into the garden, and on each side
of it a little room. The stairs are easy, which carry you up to the next
floor. Here there is a room fronting the court, directly over the hall;
and towards the garden is the meeting-room, and at the end another, also
fronting the garden. There are three rooms upon the next floor. These
are all that are as yet provided for the reception of the society,
except you will have the garrets, a platform of lead over them, and the
usual cellars, &c., below, of which they have more and better at Gresham
College."

When the society got settled, by Newton's order the porter was clothed
in a suitable gown and provided with a staff surmounted by the arms of
the society in silver, and on the meeting nights a lamp was hung out
over the entrance to the court from Fleet Street. The repository was
built at the rear of the house, and thither the society's museum was
removed. The first catalogue, compiled by Dr. Green, contains the
following, among many other marvellous notices:--

"The quills of a porcupine, which on certain occasions the creature can
shoot at the pursuing enemy and erect at pleasure.

"The flying squirrel, which for a good nut-tree will pass a river on the
bark of a tree, erecting his tail for a sail.

"The leg-bone of an elephant, brought out of Syria for the thigh-bone of
a giant. In winter, when it begins to rain, elephants are mad, and so
continue from April to September, chained to some tree, and then become
tame again.

"Tortoises, when turned on their backs, will sometimes fetch deep sighs
and shed abundance of tears.

"A humming-bird and nest, said to weigh but twelve grains; his feathers
are set in gold, and sell at a great rate.

"A bone, said to be taken out of a mermaid's head.

"The largest whale--liker an island than an animal.

"The white shark, which sometimes swallows men whole.

"A siphalter, said with its sucker to fasten on a ship and stop it under
sail.

"A stag-beetle, whose horns, worn in a ring, are good against the cramp.

"A mountain cabbage--one reported 300 feet high."

The author of "Hudibras," who died in 1680, attacked the Royal Society
for experiments that seemed to him futile and frivolous, in a severe and
bitter poem, entitled, "The Elephant in the Moon," the elephant proving
to be a mouse inside a philosopher's telescope. The poem expresses the
current opinion of the society, on which King Charles II. is once said
to have played a joke.

In 1726-27 Swift, too, had his bitter jeer at the society. In Laputa, he
thus describes the experimental philosophers:--

"The first man I saw," he says, "was of a meagre aspect, with sooty
hands and face, his hair and beard long, ragged, and singed in several
places. His clothes, shirt, and skin, were all of the same colour. He
had been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of
cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let
out to warm the air in raw, inclement summers. He told me he did not
doubt that, in eight years more, he should be able to supply the
governor's gardens with sunshine at a reasonable rate; but he complained
that his stock was low, and entreated me 'to give him something as an
encouragement to ingenuity, especially since this had been a very dear
season for cucumbers.' I made him a small present, for my lord had
furnished me with money on purpose, because he knew their practice of
begging from all who go to see them. I saw another at work to calcine
ice into gunpowder, who likewise showed me a treatise he had written
concerning the 'Malleability of Fire,' which he intended to publish.

"There was a most ingenious architect, who had contrived a new method of
building houses, by beginning at the roof and working downward to the
foundation; which he justified to me by the like practice of those two
prudent insects, the bee and the spider. I went into another room, where
the walls and ceilings were all hung round with cobwebs, except a narrow
passage for the architect to go in and out. At my entrance, he called
aloud to me 'not to disturb his webs.' He lamented 'the fatal mistake
the world had been so long in, of using silk-worms, while we had such
plenty of domestic insects who infinitely excelled the former, because
they understood how to weave as well as spin.' And he proposed, farther,
'that, by employing spiders, the charge of dying silks would be wholly
saved;' whereof I was fully convinced when he showed me a vast number of
flies, most beautifully coloured, wherewith he fed his spiders, assuring
us, 'that the webs would take a tincture from them;' and, as he had them
of all hues, he hoped to fit everybody's fancy, as soon as he could find
proper food for the flies, of certain gums, oils, and other glutinous
matter, to give a strength and consistence to the threads."

Mr. Grosley, who, in 1770, at Lausanne, published a book on London, has
drawn a curious picture of the society at that date. "The Royal
Society," he says, "combines within itself the purposes of the Parisian
Academy of Sciences and that of Inscriptions; it cultivates, in fact,
not only the higher branches of science, but literature also. Every one,
whatever his position, and whether English or foreign, who has made
observations which appear to the society worthy of its attention, is
allowed to submit them to it either by word of mouth or in writing. I
once saw a joiner, in his working clothes, announce to the society a
means he had discovered of explaining the causes of tides. He spoke a
long time, evidently not knowing what he was talking about; but he was
listened to with the greatest attention, thanked for his confidence in
the value of the society's opinion, requested to put his ideas into
writing, and conducted to the door by one of the principal members.

"The place in which the society holds its meetings is neither large nor
handsome. It is a long, low, narrow room, only furnished with a table
(covered with green cloth), some morocco chairs, and some wooden
benches, which rise above each other along the room. The table, placed
in front of the fire-place at the bottom of the room, is occupied by the
president (who sits with his back to the fire) and the secretaries. On
this table is placed a large silver-gilt mace, similar to the one in use
in the House of Commons, and which, as is the case with the latter, is
laid at the foot of the table when the society is in committee. The
president is preceded on his entrance and departure by the beadle of the
society, bearing this mace. He has beside him, on his table, a little
wooden mallet for the purpose of imposing silence when occasion arises,
but this is very seldom the case. With the exception of the secretaries
and the president, everyone takes his place hap-hazard, at the same time
taking great pains to avoid causing any confusion or noise. The society
may be said to consist, as a body corporate, of a committee of about
twenty persons, chosen from those of its associates who have the fuller
opportunities of devoting themselves to their favourite studies. The
president and the secretaries are _ex-officio_ members of the committee,
which is renewed every year--an arrangement which is so much the more
necessary that, in 1765, the society numbered 400 British members, of
whom more than forty were peers of the realm, five of the latter being
most assiduous members of the committee.

"The foreign honorary members, who number about 150, comprise within
their number all the most famous learned men of Europe, and amongst them
we find the names of D'Alembert, Bernouilli, Bonnet, Buffon, Euler,
Jussieu, Linné, Voltaire, &c.; together with those, in simple
alphabetical order, of the Dukes of Braganza, &c., and the chief
Ministers of many European sovereigns."

During the dispute about lightning conductors (after St. Bride's Church
was struck in 1764), in the year 1772, George III. (says Mr. Weld, in
his "History of the Royal Society") is stated to have taken the side of
Wilson--not on scientific grounds, but from political motives; he even
had blunt conductors fixed on his palace, and actually endeavoured to
make the Royal Society rescind their resolution in favour of pointed
conductors. The king, it is declared, had an interview with Sir John
Pringle, during which his Majesty earnestly entreated him to use his
influence in supporting Mr. Wilson. The reply of the president was
highly honourable to himself and the society whom he represented. It was
to the effect that duty as well as inclination would always induce him
to execute his Majesty's wishes to the utmost of his power; "But, sire,"
said he, "I cannot reverse the laws and operations of Nature." It is
stated that when Sir John regretted his inability to alter the laws of
Nature, the king replied, "Perhaps, Sir John, you had better resign." It
was shortly after this occurrence that a friend of Dr. Franklin's wrote
this epigram:--

    "While you, great George, for knowledge hunt,
    And sharp conductors change for blunt,
        The nation's out of joint;
    Franklin a wiser course pursues,
    And all your thunder useless views,
        By keeping to the point."

A strange scene in the Royal Society in 1710 (Queen Anne) deserves
record. It ended in the expulsion from the council of that irascible Dr.
Woodward who once fought a duel with Dr. Mead inside the gate of Gresham
College. "The sense," says Mr. Ward, in his "Memoirs," "entertained by
the society of Sir Hans Sloane's services and virtues was evinced by the
manner in which they resented an insult offered him by Dr. Woodward,
who, as the reader is aware, was expelled the council. Sir Hans was
reading a paper of his own composition, when Woodward made some grossly
insulting remarks. Dr. Sloane complained, and moreover stated that Dr.
Woodward had often affronted him by making grimaces at him; upon which
Dr. Arbuthnot rose and begged to be 'informed what distortion of a man's
face constituted a grimace.' Sir Isaac Newton was in the chair when the
question of expulsion was agitated, and when it was pleaded in
Woodward's favour that 'he was a good natural philosopher,' Sir Isaac
remarked that in order to belong to that society a man ought to be a
good moral philosopher as well as a natural one."

The Scottish Society held its meetings in Crane Court. "Elizabeth," says
Mr. Timbs, "kept down the number of Scotsmen in London to the
astonishingly small one of fifty-eight; but with James I. came such a
host of traders and craftsmen, many of whom failing to obtain
employment, gave rise, as early as 1613, to the institution of the
'Scottish Box,' a sort of friendly society's treasury, when there were
no banks to take charge of money. In 1638 the company, then only twenty,
met in Lamb's Conduit Street. In this year upwards of 300 poor Scotsmen,
swept off by the great plague of 1665-66, were buried at the expense of
the 'box,' while numbers more were nourished during their sickness,
without subjecting the parishes in which they resided to the smallest
expense.

"In the year 1665 the 'box' was exalted into the character of a
corporation by a royal charter, the expenses attendant on which were
disbursed by gentlemen who, when they met at the 'Cross Keys,' in Covent
Garden, found their receipts to be £116 8s. 5d. The character of the
times is seen in one of their regulations, which imposed a fine of 2s.
6d. for every oath used in the course of their quarterly business.

"Presents now flocked in. One of the corporation gave a silver cup;
another, an ivory mallet or hammer for the chairman; and among the
contributors we find Gilbert Burnet, afterwards bishop, giving £1
half-yearly. In no very Scotsman-like spirit the governors distributed
each quarter-day all that had been collected during the preceding
interval. But in 1775 a permanent fund was established. The hospital now
distributes about £2,200 a year, chiefly in £10 pensions to old people;
and the princely bequest of £76,495 by Mr. W. Kinloch, who had realised
a fortune in India, allows of £1,800 being given in pensions of £4 to
disabled soldiers and sailors.

"All this is highly honourable to those connected, by birth or
otherwise, with Scotland. The monthly meetings of the society are
preceded by divine service in the chapel, which is in the rear of the
house in Crane Court. Twice a year is held a festival, at which large
sums are collected. On St. Andrew's Day, 1863, Viscount Palmerston
presided, with the brilliant result of the addition of £1,200 to the
hospital fund."

Appended to the account of the society already quoted we find the
following remarkable "note by an Englishman":--

"It is not one of the least curious particulars in the history of the
Scottish Hospital that it substantiates by documentary evidence the fact
that Scotsmen who have gone to England occasionally find their way back
to their own country. It appears from the books of the corporation that
in the year ending 30th November, 1850, the sum of £30 16s. 6d. was
spent in passages from London to Leith; and there is actually a
corresponding society in Edinburgh to receive the _revenants_ and pass
them on to their respective districts."

In Crane Court, says Mr. Timbs, lived Dryden Leach, the printer, who, in
1763, was arrested on a general warrant upon suspicion of having printed
Wilkes's _North Briton_, No 45. Leach was taken out of his bed in the
night, his papers were seized, and even his journeymen and servants were
apprehended, the only foundation for the arrest being a hearsay that
Wilkes had been seen going into Leach's house. Wilkes had been sent to
the Tower for the No. 45. After much litigation, he obtained a verdict
of £4,000, and Leach £300, damages from three of the king's messengers,
who had executed the illegal warrant. Kearsley, the bookseller, of Fleet
Street (whom we recollect by his tax-tables), had been taken up for
publishing No. 45, when also at Kearsley's were seized the letters of
Wilkes, which seemed to fix upon him the writing of the obscene and
blasphemous "Essay on Woman," and of which he was convicted in the Court
of King's Bench and expelled the House of Commons. The author of this
"indecent patchwork" was not Wilkes (says Walpole), but Thomas Potter,
the wild son of the learned Archbishop of Canterbury, who had tried to
fix the authorship on the learned and arrogant Warburton--a piece of
matchless impudence worthy of Wilkes himself.

[Illustration: THE ROYAL SOCIETY'S HOUSE IN CRANE COURT (_see page
104_).]

Red Lion Court (No. 169), though an unlikely spot, has been, of all the
side binns of Fleet Street, one of the most specially favoured by
Minerva. Here Valpy published that interminable series of Latin and
Greek authors, which he called the "Delphin Classics," which Lamb's
eccentric friend, George Dyer, of Clifford's Inn, laboriously edited,
and which opened the eyes of the subscribers very wide indeed as to the
singular richness of ancient literature. At the press of an eminent
printer in this court, that useful and perennial serial the _Gentleman's
Magazine_ (started in 1731) was partly printed from 1779 to 1781, and
entirely printed from 1792 to 1820.

Johnson's Court, Fleet Street (a narrow court on the north side of Fleet
Street, the fourth from Fetter Lane, eastward), was not named from Dr.
Johnson, although inhabited by him.

[Illustration: Theodore E. Hook (_See page 110_).]

Dr. Johnson was living at Johnson's Court in 1765, after he left No. 1,
Inner Temple Lane, and before he removed to Bolt Court. At Johnson's
Court he made the acquaintance of Murphey, and he worked at his edition
of "Shakespeare." He saw much of Reynolds and Burke. On the accession of
George III. a pension of £300 a year had been bestowed on him, and from
that time he became comparatively an affluent man. In 1763, Boswell had
become acquainted with Dr. Johnson, and from that period his wonderful
conversations are recorded. The indefatigable biographer describes, in
1763, being taken by Mr. Levett to see Dr. Johnson's library, which was
contained in his garret over his Temple chambers, where the son of the
well-known Lintot used to have his warehouse. The floor was strewn with
manuscript leaves; and there was an apparatus for chemical experiments,
of which Johnson was all his life very fond. Johnson often hid himself
in this garret for study, but never told his servant, as the Doctor
would never allow him to say he was not at home when he was.

"He"(Johnson), says Hawkins, "removed from the Temple into a house in
Johnson's Court, Fleet Street, and invited thither his friend Mrs.
Williams. An upper room, which had the advantage of a good light and
free air, he fitted up for a study and furnished with books, chosen with
so little regard to editions or their external appearances as showed
they were intended for use, and that he disdained the ostentation of
learning."

"I returned to London," says Boswell, "in February, 1766, and found Dr.
Johnson in a good house in Johnson's Court, Fleet Street, in which he
had accommodated Mrs. Williams with an apartment on the ground-floor,
while Mr. Levett occupied his post in the garret. His faithful Francis
was still attending upon him. He received me with much kindness. The
fragments of our first conversation, which I have preserved, are
these:--I told him that Voltaire, in a conversation with me, had
distinguished Pope and Dryden, thus: 'Pope drives a handsome chariot,
with a couple of neat, trim nags; Dryden, a coach and six stately
horses.' Johnson: 'Why, sir, the truth is, they both drive coaches and
six, but Dryden's horses are either galloping or stumbling; Pope's go at
a steady, even trot.' He said of Goldsmith's 'Traveller,' which had been
published in my absence, 'There's not been so fine a poem since Pope's
time.' Dr. Johnson at the same time favoured me by marking the lines
which he furnished to Goldsmith's 'Deserted Village,' which are only the
last four:--

    'That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
    As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away;
    While self-dependent power can time defy,
    As rocks resist the billows and the sky.'

At night I supped with him at the 'Mitre' tavern, that we might renew
our social intimacy at the original place of meeting. But there was now
considerable difference in his way of living. Having had an illness, in
which he was advised to leave off wine, he had, from that period,
continued to abstain from it, and drank only water or lemonade."

"Mr. Beauclerk and I," says Boswell, in another place, "called on him in
the morning. As we walked up Johnson's Court, I said, 'I have a
veneration for this court,' and was glad to find that Beauclerk had the
same reverential enthusiasm." The Doctor's removal Boswell thus duly
chronicles:--"Having arrived," he says, "in London late on Friday, the
15th of March, 1776, I hastened next morning to wait on Dr. Johnson, at
his house, but found he was removed from Johnson's Court, No. 7, to Bolt
Court, No. 8, still keeping to his favourite Fleet Street. My reflection
at the time, upon this change, as marked in my journal, is as follows:
'I felt a foolish regret that he had left a court which bore his name;
but it was not foolish to be affected with some tenderness of regard for
a place in which I had seen him a great deal, from whence I had often
issued a better and a happier man than when I went in; and which had
often appeared to my imagination, while I trod its pavement in the
solemn darkness of the night, to be sacred to wisdom and piety.'"

Johnson was living at Johnson's Court when he was introduced to George
III., an interview in which he conducted himself, considering he was an
ingrained Jacobite, with great dignity, self-respect, and good sense.

That clever, but most shameless and scurrilous, paper, _John Bull_, was
started in Johnson's Court, at the close of 1820. Its specific and real
object was to slander unfortunate Queen Caroline and to torment,
stigmatise, and blacken "the Brandenburg House party," as her honest
sympathisers were called. Theodore Hook was chosen editor, because he
knew society, was quick, witty, satirical, and thoroughly unscrupulous.
For his "splendid abuse"--as his biographer, the unreverend Mr. Barham,
calls it--he received the full pay of a greedy hireling. Tom Moore and
the Whigs now met with a terrible adversary. Hook did not hew or stab,
like Churchill and the old rough lampooners of earlier days, but he
filled crackers with wild fire, or laughingly stuck the enemies of
George IV. over with pins. Hook had only a year before returned from the
Treasuryship of the Mauritius, charged with a defalcation of
£15,000--the result of the grossest and most culpable neglect. Hungry
for money, as he had ever been, he was eager to show his zeal for the
master who had hired his pen. Hook and Daniel Terry, the comedian,
joined to start the new satirical paper; but Miller, a publisher in the
Burlington Arcade, was naturally afraid of libel, and refused to have
anything to do with the new venture. With Miller, as Hook said in his
clever, punning way, all argument in favour of it proved Newgate-ory.
Hook at first wanted to start a magazine upon the model of _Blackwood_,
but the final decision was for a weekly newspaper, to be called _John
Bull_, a title already discussed for a previous scheme by Hook and
Elliston. The first number appeared on Saturday, December 16, 1820, in
the publishing office, No. 11, Johnson's Court. The modest projectors
only printed seven hundred and fifty copies of the first number, but the
sale proved considerable. By the sixth week the sale had reached ten
thousand weekly. The first five numbers were reprinted, and the first
two actually stereotyped.

Hook's favourite axiom--worthy of such a satirist--was "that there was
always a concealed wound in every family, and the point was to strike
exactly at the source of pain." Hook's clerical elder brother, Dr. James
Hook, the author of "Pen Owen" and other novels, and afterwards Dean of
Worcester, assisted him; but Terry was too busy in what Sir Walter
Scott, his great friend and sleeping partner, used to call "_Terry_fying
the novelists by not very brilliant adaptations of their works." Dr.
Maginn, summoned from Cork to edit a newspaper for Hook (who had bought
up two dying newspapers for the small expenditure of three hundred
guineas), wrote only one article for the _Bull_. Mr. Haynes Bayley
contributed some of his graceful verses, and Ingoldsby (Barham) some of
his rather ribald fun. The anonymous editor of _John Bull_ became for a
time as much talked about as Junius in earlier times. By many witty
James Smith was suspected, but his fun had not malignity enough for the
Tory purposes of those bitter days. Latterly Hook let Alderman Wood
alone, and set all his staff on Hume, the great economist, and the Hon.
Henry Grey Bennett.

Several prosecutions followed, says Mr. Barham, that for libel on the
Queen among the rest; but the grand attempt on the part of the Whigs to
crush the paper was not made till the 6th of May, 1821. A short and
insignificant paragraph, containing some observations upon the Hon.
Henry Grey Bennett, a brother of Lord Tankerville's, was selected for
attack, as involving a breach of privilege; in consequence of which the
printer, Mr. H.F. Cooper, the editor, and Mr. Shackell were ordered to
attend at the bar of the House of Commons. A long debate ensued, during
which Ministers made as fair a stand as the nature of the case would
admit in behalf of their guerrilla allies, but which terminated at
length in the committal of Cooper to Newgate, where he was detained from
the 11th of May till the 11th of July, when Parliament was prorogued.

Meanwhile the most strenuous exertions were made to detect the real
delinquents--for, of course, honourable gentlemen were not to be imposed
upon by the unfortunate "men of straw" who had fallen into their
clutches, and who, by the way, suffered for an offence of which their
judges and accusers openly proclaimed them to be not only innocent, but
incapable. The terror of imprisonment and the various arts of
cross-examination proving insufficient to elicit the truth, recourse was
had to a simpler and more conciliatory mode of treatment--bribery. The
storm had failed to force off the editorial cloak--the golden beams were
brought to bear upon it. We have it for certain that an offer was made
to a member of the establishment to stay all impending proceedings, and,
further, to pay down a sum of £500 on the names of the actual writers
being given up. It was rejected with disdain, while such were the
precautions taken that it was impossible to fix Hook, though suspicion
began to be awakened, with any share in the concern. In order, also, to
cross the scent already hit off, and announced by sundry deep-mouthed
pursuers, the following "Reply"--framed upon the principle, we presume,
that in literature, as in love, everything is fair--was thrown out in an
early number:--

"MR. THEODORE HOOK.

"The conceit of some people is amazing, and it has not been unfrequently
remarked that conceit is in abundance where talent is most scarce. Our
readers will see that we have received a letter from Mr. Hook, disowning
and disavowing all connection with this paper. Partly out of good
nature, and partly from an anxiety to show the gentleman how little
desirous we are to be associated with him, we have made a declaration
which will doubtless be quite satisfactory to his morbid sensibility and
affected squeamishness. We are free to confess that two things surprise
us in this business; the first, that anything which we have thought
worth giving to the public should have been mistaken for Mr. Hook's;
and, secondly that _such a person_ as Mr. Hook should think himself
disgraced by a connection with _John Bull_."

For sheer impudence this, perhaps, may be admitted to "defy
competition"; but in point of tact and delicacy of finish it falls
infinitely short of a subsequent notice, a perfect gem of its class,
added by way of clenching the denial:--

"We have received Mr. Theodore Hook's second letter. We are ready to
confess that we may have appeared to treat him too unceremoniously, but
we will put it to his own feelings whether the terms of his denial were
not, in some degree, calculated to produce a little asperity on our
part. We shall never be ashamed, however, to do justice, and we readily
declare that we meant no kind of imputation on Mr. Hook's personal
character."

The ruse answered for awhile, and the paper went on with unabated
audacity.

The death of the Queen, in the summer of 1821, produced a decided
alteration in the tone and temper of the paper. In point of fact its
occupation was now gone. The main, if not the sole, object of its
establishment had been brought about by other and unforeseen events. The
combination it had laboured so energetically to thwart was now dissolved
by a higher and resistless agency. Still, it is not to be supposed that
a machine which brought in a profit of something above £4,000 per annum,
half of which fell to the share of Hook, was to be lightly thrown up,
simply because its original purpose was attained. The dissolution of the
"League" did not exist then as a precedent. The Queen was no longer to
be feared; but there were Whigs and Radicals enough to be held in check,
and, above all, there was a handsome income to be realised.

"Latterly Hook's desultory nature made him wander from the _Bull_,
which might have furnished the thoughtless and heartless man of pleasure
with an income for life. The paper naturally lost sap and vigour, at
once declined in sale, and sank into a mere respectable club-house and
party organ." "Mr. Hook," says Barham, "received to the day of his death
a fixed salary, but the proprietorship had long since passed into other
hands."




CHAPTER X.

FLEET STREET TRIBUTARIES.

    Dr. Johnson in Bolt Court--His motley Household--His Life
    there--Still existing--The gallant "Lumber Troop"--Reform Bill
    Riots--Sir Claudius Hunter--Cobbett in Bolt Court--The Bird Boy--The
    Private Soldier--In the House--Dr. Johnson in Gough Square--Busy at
    the Dictionary--Goldsmith in Wine Office Court--Selling "The Vicar
    of Wakefield"--Goldsmith's Troubles--Wine Office Court--The Old
    "Cheshire Cheese."


Of all the nooks of London associated with the memory of that good giant
of literature, Dr. Johnson, not one is more sacred to those who love
that great and wise man than Bolt Court. To this monastic court Johnson
came in 1776, and remained till that December day in 1784, when a
procession of all the learned and worthy men who honoured him followed
his body to its grave in the Abbey, near the feet of Shakespeare and by
the side of Garrick. The great scholar, whose ways and sayings, whose
rough hide and tender heart, are so familiar to us--thanks to that
faithful parasite who secured an immortality by getting up behind his
triumphal chariot--came to Bolt Court from Johnson's Court, whither he
had flitted from Inner Temple Lane, where he was living when the young
Scotch barrister who was afterwards his biographer first knew him. His
strange household of fretful and disappointed almspeople seems as well
known as our own. At the head of these pensioners was the daughter of a
Welsh doctor, (a blind old lady named Williams), who had written some
trivial poems; Mrs. Desmoulins, an old Staffordshire lady, her daughter,
and a Miss Carmichael. The relationships of these fretful and
quarrelsome old maids Dr. Johnson has himself sketched, in a letter to
Mr. and Mrs. Thrale:--"Williams hates everybody; Levett hates
Desmoulins, and does not love Williams; Desmoulins hates them both; Poll
(Miss Carmichael) loves none of them." This Levett was a poor eccentric
apothecary, whom Johnson supported, and who seems to have been a
charitable man.

The annoyance of such a menagerie of angular oddities must have driven
Johnson more than ever to his clubs, where he could wrestle with the
best intellects of the day, and generally retire victorious. He had done
nearly all his best work by this time, and was sinking into the sere
and yellow leaf, not, like Macbeth, with the loss of honour, but with
love, obedience, troops of friends, and golden opinions from all sorts
of people. His Titanic labour, the Dictionary, he had achieved chiefly
in Gough Square; his "Rasselas"--that grave and wise Oriental story--he
had written in a few days, in Staple's Inn, to defray the expenses of
his mother's funeral. In Bolt Court he, however, produced his "Lives of
the Poets," a noble compendium of criticism, defaced only by the bitter
Tory depreciation of Milton, and injured by the insertion of many
worthless and the omission of several good poets.

It is pleasant to think of some of the events that happened while
Johnson lived in Bolt Court. Here he exerted himself with all the ardour
of his nature to soothe the last moments of that wretched man, Dr. Dodd,
who was hanged for forgery. From Bolt Court he made those frequent
excursions to the Thrales, at Streatham, where the rich brewer and his
brilliant wife gloried in the great London lion they had captured. To
Bolt Court came Johnson's friends Reynolds and Gibbon, and Garrick, and
Percy, and Langton; but poor Goldsmith had died before Johnson left
Johnson's Court. To Bolt Court he stalked home the night of his
memorable quarrel with Dr. Percy, no doubt regretting the violence and
boisterous rudeness with which he had attacked an amiable and gifted
man. From Bolt Court he walked to service at St. Clement's Church on the
day he rejoiced in comparing the animation of Fleet Street with the
desolation of the Hebrides. It was from Bolt Court Boswell drove Johnson
to dine with General Paoli, a drive memorable for the fact that on that
occasion Johnson uttered his first and only recorded pun.

Johnson was at Bolt Court when the Gordon Riots broke out, and he
describes them to Mrs. Thrale. Boswell gives a pleasant sketch of a
party at Bolt Court, when Mrs. Hall (a sister of Wesley) was there, and
Mr. Allen, a printer; Johnson produced his silver salvers, and it was "a
great day." It was on this occasion that the conversation fell on
apparitions, and Johnson, always superstitious to the last degree, told
the story of hearing his mother's voice call him one day at Oxford
(probably at a time when his brain was overworked). On this great
occasion also, Johnson, talked at by Mrs. Hall and Mrs. Williams at the
same moment, gaily quoted the line from the _Beggars' Opera_,--

    "But two at a time there's no mortal can bear,"

and Boswell playfully compared the great man to Captain Macheath.
Imagine Mrs. Williams, old and peevish; Mrs. Hall, lean, lank, and
preachy; Johnson, rolling in his chair like Polyphemus at a debate;
Boswell, stooping forward on the perpetual listen; Mr. Levett, sour and
silent; Frank, the black servant, proud of the silver salvers--and you
have the group as in a picture.

In Bolt Court we find Johnson now returning from pleasant dinners with
Wilkes and Garrick, Malone and Dr. Burney; now sitting alone over his
Greek Testament, or praying with his black servant, Frank. We like to
picture him on that Good Friday morning (1783), when he and Boswell,
returning from service at St. Clement's, rested on the stone seat at the
garden-door in Bolt Court, talking about gardens and country
hospitality.

Then, finally, we come to almost the last scene of all, when the sick
man addressed to his kind physician, Brocklesby, that pathetic passage
of Shakespeare's,--

    "Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased;
    Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow;
    Raze out the written troubles of the brain;
    And with some sweet oblivious antidote
    Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff
    Which weighs upon the heart?"

Round Johnson's dying bed gathered many wise and good men. To Burke he
said, "I must be in a wretched state indeed, when your company would not
be a delight to me." To another friend he remarked solemnly, but in his
old grand manner, "Sir, you cannot conceive with what acceleration I
advance towards death." Nor did his old vehemence and humour by any
means forsake him, for he described a man who sat up to watch him "as an
idiot, sir; awkward as a turnspit when first put into the wheel, and
sleepy as a dormouse." His remaining hours were spent in fervent prayer.
The last words he uttered were those of benediction upon the daughter
of a friend who came to ask his blessing.

Some years before Dr. Johnson's death, when the poet Rogers was a young
clerk of literary proclivities at his father's bank, he one day stole
surreptitiously to Bolt Court, to daringly show some of his fledgeling
poems to the great Polyphemus of literature. He and young Maltby, an
ancestor of the late Bishop of Durham, crept blushingly through the
quiet court, and on arriving at the sacred door on the west side,
ascended the steps and knocked at the door; but the awful echo of that
knocker struck terror to the young _débutants'_ hearts, and before Frank
Barber, the Doctor's old negro footman, could appear, the two lads, like
street-boys who had perpetrated a mischievous runaway knock, took to
their heels and darted back into noisy Fleet Street. Mr. Jesse, who has
collected so many excellent anecdotes, some even original, in his three
large volumes on "London's Celebrated Characters and Places," says that
the elder Mr. Disraeli, singularly enough, used in society to relate an
almost similar adventure as a youth. Eager for literary glory, but urged
towards the counter by his sober-minded relations, he enclosed some of
his best verses to the celebrated Dr. Johnson, and modestly solicited
from the terrible critic an opinion of their value. Having waited some
time in vain for a reply, the ambitious Jewish youth at last (December
13, 1784) resolved to face the lion in his den, and rapping tremblingly
(as his predecessor, Rogers), heard with dismay the knocker echo on the
metal. We may imagine the feelings of the young votary at the shrine of
learning, when the servant (probably Frank Barber), who slowly opened
the door, informed him that Dr. Johnson had breathed his last only a few
short hours before.

Mr. Timbs reminds us of another story of Dr. Johnson, which will not be
out of place here. It is an excellent illustration of the keen sagacity
and forethought of that great man's mind. One evening Dr. Johnson,
looking from his dim Bolt Court window, saw the slovenly lamp-lighter of
those days ascending a ladder (just as Hogarth has drawn him in the
"Rake's Progress"), and fill the little receptacle in the globular lamp
with detestable whale-oil. Just as he got down the ladder the dull light
wavered out. Skipping up the ladder again, the son of Prometheus lifted
the cover, thrust the torch he carried into the heated vapour rising
from the wick, and instantly the ready flame sprang restored to life.
"Ah," said the old seer, "one of these days the streets of London will
be lighted by smoke."

[Illustration: DR. JOHNSON'S HOUSE IN BOLT COURT (_see page 112_).]

Johnson's house (No. 8), according to Mr. Noble, was not destroyed by
fire in 1819, as Mr. Timbs and other writers assert. The house destroyed
was Bensley the printer's (next door to No. 8), the successor of
Johnson's friend, Allen, who in 1772 published Manning's Saxon, Gothic,
and Latin Dictionary, and died in 1780. In Bensley's destructive fire
all the plates and stock of Dallaway's "History of Sussex" were
consumed. Johnson's house, says Mr. Noble, was in 1858 purchased by the
Stationers' Company, and fitted up as a cheap school (six shillings a
quarter). In 1861 Mr. Foss, Master of the Company, initiated a fund, and
since then a university scholarship has been founded--_sicitur ad
astra_. The back room, first floor, in which the great man died, had
been pulled down by Mr. Bensley, to make way for a staircase. Bensley
was one of the first introducers of the German invention of
steam-printing.

[Illustration: A TEA PARTY AT DR. JOHNSON'S (_see page 113_).]

At "Dr. Johnson's" tavern, established forty years ago (now the Albert
Club), the well-known society of the "Lumber Troop" once drained their
porter and held their solemn smokings. This gallant force of
supposititious fighting men "came out" with great force during the
Reform Riots of 1830. These useless disturbances originated in a fussy,
foolish warning letter, written by John Key, the Lord Mayor elect (he
was generally known in the City as Don Key after this), to the Duke of
Wellington, then as terribly unpopular with the English Reformers as he
had been with the French after the battle of Waterloo, urging him (the
duke) if he came with King William and Queen Adelaide to dine with the
new Lord Mayor, (his worshipful self), to come "strongly and
sufficiently guarded." This imprudent step greatly offended the people,
who were also just then much vexed with the severities of Peel's
obnoxious new police. The result was that the new king and queen (for
the not over-beloved George IV. had only died in June of that year)
thought it better to decline coming to the City festivities altogether.
Great, then, was even the Tory indignation, and the fattest alderman
trotted about, eager to discuss the grievance, the waste of half-cooked
turtle, and the general folly and enormity of the Lord Mayor elect's
conduct. Sir Claudius Hunter, who had shared in the Lord Mayor's fears,
generously marched to his aid. In a published statement that he made, he
enumerated the force available for the defence of the (in his mind)
endangered City in the following way:--

    Ward Constables                                400
    Fellowship, Ticket, and Tackle Porters         250
    Firemen                                        150
    Corn Porters                                   100
    Extra men hired                                130
    City Police or own men                          54
    Tradesmen with emblems in the procession       300
    Some gentlemen called the Lumber Troopers      150
    The Artillery Company                          150
    The East India Volunteers                      600

    Total of all comers                          2,284

In the same statement Sir Claudius says:--"The Lumber Troop are a
respectable smoking club, well known to every candidate for a seat in
Parliament for London, and most famed for the quantity of tobacco they
consume and the porter they drink, which, I believe (from my own
observation, made nineteen years ago, when I was a candidate for that
office), is the only liquor allowed. They were to have had no pay, and I
am sure they would have done their best."

Along the line of procession, to oppose this civic force, the right
worshipful but foolish man reckoned there would be some 150,000 persons.
With all these aldermanic fears, and all these irritating precautions, a
riot naturally took place. On Monday, November 8th, that glib,
unsatisfactory man, Orator Hunt, the great demagogue of the day,
addressed a Reform meeting at the Rotunda, in Blackfriars Road. At
half-past eleven, when the Radical gentleman, famous for his white hat
(the lode-star of faction), retired, a man suddenly waved a tricolour
flag (it was the year, remember, of the Revolution in Paris), with the
word "Reform" painted upon it, and a preconcerted cry was raised by the
more violent of, "Now for the West End!" About one thousand men then
rushed over Blackfriars bridge, shouting, "Reform!" "Down with the
police!" "No Peel!" "No Wellington!" Hurrying along the Strand, the mob
first proceeded to Earl Bathurst's, in Downing Street. A foolish
gentleman of the house, hearing the cries, came out on the balcony,
armed with a brace of pistols, and declared he would fire on the first
man who attempted to enter the place. Another gentleman at this moment
came out, and very sensibly took the pistols from his friend, on which
the mob retired. The rioters were then making for the House of Commons,
but were stopped by a strong line of police, just arrived in time from
Scotland Yard. One hundred and forty more men soon joined the
constables, and a general fight ensued, in which many heads were quickly
broken, and the Reform flag was captured. Three of the rioters were
arrested, and taken to the watch-house in the Almonry in Westminster. A
troop of Royal Horse Guards (blue) remained during the night ready in
the court of the Horse Guards, and bands of policemen paraded the
streets.

On Tuesday the riots continued. About half-past five p.m., 300 or 400
persons, chiefly boys, came along the Strand, shouting, "No Peel!" "Down
with the raw lobsters!" (the new police); "This way, my lads; we'll give
it them!" At the back of the menageries at Charing Cross the police
rushed upon them, and after a skirmish put them to flight. At seven
o'clock the vast crowd by Temple Bar compelled every coachman and
passenger in a coach, as a passport, to pull off his hat and shout
"Huzza!" Stones were thrown, and attempts were made to close the gates
of the Bar. The City marshals, however, compelled them to be re-opened,
and opposed the passage of the mob to the Strand, but the pass was soon
forced. The rioters in Pickett Place pelted the police with stones and
pieces of wood, broken from the scaffolding of the Law Institute, then
building in Chancery Lane. Another mob of about 500 persons ran up
Piccadilly to Apsley House and hissed and hooted the stubborn,
unprogressive old Duke, Mr. Peel, and the police; the constables,
however, soon dispersed them. The same evening dangerous mobs collected
in Bethnal Green, Spitalfields, and Whitechapel, one party of them
displaying tricoloured flags. They broke a lamp and a window or two,
but did little else. Alas for poor Sir Claudius and his profound
computations! His 2,284 fighting loyal men dwindled down to 600,
including even those strange hybrids, the firemen-watermen; and as for
the gallant Lumber Troop, they were nowhere visible to the naked eye.

To Bolt Court that scourge of King George III., William Cobbett, came
from Fleet Street to sell his Indian corn, for which no one cared, and
to print and publish his twopenny _Political Register_, for which the
London Radicals of that day hungered. Nearly opposite the office of
"this good hater," says Mr. Timbs, Wright (late Kearsley) kept shop, and
published a searching criticism on Cobbett's excellent English Grammar
as soon as it appeared. We only wonder that Cobbett did not reply to him
as Johnson did to a friend after he knocked Osborne (the grubbing
bookseller of Gray's Inn Gate) down with a blow--"Sir, he was
impertinent, and I beat him."

A short biographical sketch of Cobbett will not be inappropriate here.
This sturdy Englishman, born in the year 1762, was the son of an honest
and industrious yeoman, who kept an inn called the "Jolly Farmer," at
Farnham, in Surrey. "My first occupation," says Cobbett, "was driving
the small birds from the turnip seed and the rooks from the peas. When I
first trudged a-field with my wooden bottle and my satchel over my
shoulder, I was hardly able to climb the gates and stiles." In 1783 the
restless lad (a plant grown too high for the pot) ran away to London,
and turned lawyer's clerk. At the end of nine months he enlisted, and
sailed for Nova Scotia. Before long he became sergeant-major, over the
heads of thirty other non-commissioned officers. Frugal and diligent,
the young soldier soon educated himself. Discharged at his own request
in 1791, he married a respectable girl, to whom he had before entrusted
£150 hard-earned savings. Obtaining a trial against four officers of his
late regiment for embezzlement of stores, for some strange reason
Cobbett fled to France on the eve of the trial, but finding the king of
that country dethroned, he started at once for America. At Philadelphia
he boldly began as a high Tory bookseller, and denounced Democracy in
his virulent "Porcupine Papers." Finally, overwhelmed with actions for
libel, Cobbett in 1800 returned to England. Failing with a daily paper
and a bookseller's shop, Cobbett then started his _Weekly Register_,
which for thirty years continued to express the changes of his honest
but impulsive and vindictive mind. Gradually--it is said, owing to some
slight shown him by Pitt (more probably from real conviction)--Cobbett
grew Radical and progressive, and in 1809 was fined £500 for libels on
the Irish Government. In 1817 he was fined £1,000 and imprisoned two
years for violent remarks about some Ely militiamen who had been flogged
under a guard of fixed bayonets. This punishment he never forgave. He
followed up his _Register_ by his _Twopenny Trash_, of which he
eventually sold 100,000 a number. The Six Acts being passed--as he
boasted, to gag him--he fled, in 1817, again to America. The persecuted
man returned to England in 1819, bringing with him, much to the
amusement of the Tory lampooners, the bones of that foul man, Tom Paine,
the infidel, whom (in 1796) this changeful politician had branded as
"base, malignant, treacherous, unnatural, and blasphemous." During the
Queen Caroline trial Cobbett worked heart and soul for that questionable
martyr. He went out to Shooter's Hill to welcome her to London, and
boasted of having waved a laurel bough above her head.

In 1825 he wrote a scurrilous "History of the Reformation" (by many
still attributed to a priest), in which he declared Luther, Calvin, and
Beza to be the greatest ruffians that ever disgraced the world. In his
old age, too late to be either brilliant or useful, Cobbett got into
Parliament, being returned in 1832 (thanks to the Reform Bill) member
for Oldham. He died at his house near Farnham, in 1835. Cobbett was an
egotist, it must be allowed, and a violent-tempered, vindictive man; but
his honesty, his love of truth and liberty, few who are not blinded by
party opinion can doubt. His writings are remarkable for vigorous and
racy Saxon, as full of vituperation as Rabelais's, and as terse and
simple as Swift's.

Mr. Grant, in his pleasant book, "Random Recollections of the House of
Commons," written _circa_ 1834, gives us an elaborate full-length
portrait of old Cobbett. He was, he says, not less than six feet high,
and broad and athletic in proportion. His hair was silver-white, his
complexion ruddy as a farmer's. Till his small eyes sparkled with
laughter, he looked a mere dull-pated clodpole. His dress was a light,
loose, grey tail-coat, a white waistcoat, and sandy kerseymere breeches,
and he usually walked about the House with both his hands plunged into
his breeches pockets. He had an eccentric, half-malicious way of
sometimes suddenly shifting his seat, and on one important night, big
with the fate of Peel's Administration, deliberately anchored down in
the very centre of the disgusted Tories and at the very back of Sir
Robert's bench, to the infinite annoyance of the somewhat supercilious
party.

We next penetrate into Gough Square, in search of the great
lexicographer.

As far as can be ascertained from Boswell, Dr. Johnson resided at Gough
Square from 1748 to 1758, an eventful period of his life, and one of
struggle, pain, and difficulty. In this gloomy side square near Fleet
Street, he achieved many results and abandoned many hopes. Here he
nursed his hypochondria--the nightmare of his life--and sought the only
true relief in hard work. Here he toiled over books, drudging for Cave
and Dodsley. Here he commenced both the _Rambler_ and the _Idler_, and
formed his acquaintance with Bennet Langton. Here his wife died, and
left him more than ever a prey to his natural melancholy; and here he
toiled on his great work, the Dictionary, in which he and six amanuenses
effected what it took all the French Academicians to perform for their
language.

A short epitome of what this great man accomplished while in Gough
Square will clearly recall to our readers his way of life while in that
locality. In 1749, Johnson formed a quiet club in Ivy Lane, wrote that
fine paraphrase of Juvenal, "The Vanity of Human Wishes," and brought
out, with dubious success, under Garrick's auspices, his tragedy of
_Irene_. In 1750, he commenced the _Rambler_. In 1752, the year his wife
died, he laboured on at the Dictionary. In 1753, he became acquainted
with Bennet Langton. In 1754 he wrote the life of his early patron,
Cave, who died that year. In 1755, the great Dictionary, begun in 1747,
was at last published, and Johnson wrote that scathing letter to the
Earl of Chesterfield, who, too late, thrust upon him the patronage the
poor scholar had once sought in vain. In 1756, the still struggling man
was arrested for a paltry debt of £5 18_s._, from which Richardson the
worthy relieved him. In 1758, when he began the _Idler_, Johnson is
described as "being in as easy and pleasant a state of existence as
constitutional unhappiness ever permitted him to enjoy."

While the Dictionary was going forward, "Johnson," says Boswell, "lived
part of the time in Holborn, part in Gough Square (Fleet Street); and he
had an upper room fitted up like a counting-house for the purpose, in
which he gave to the copyists their several tasks. The words, partly
taken from other dictionaries and partly supplied by himself, having
been first written down with space left between them, he delivered in
writing their etymologies, definitions, and various significations. The
authorities were copied from the books themselves, in which he had
marked the passages with a black-lead pencil, the traces of which could
be easily effaced. I have seen several of them in which that trouble had
not been taken, so that they were just as when used by the copyists. It
is remarkable that he was so attentive to the choice of the passages in
which words were authorised, that one may read page after page of his
Dictionary with improvement and pleasure; and it should not pass
unobserved, that he has quoted no author whose writings had a tendency
to hurt sound religion and morality."

To this account Bishop Percy adds a note of great value for its lucid
exactitude. "Boswell's account of the manner in which Johnson compiled
his Dictionary," he says, "is confused and erroneous. He began his task
(as he himself expressly described to me) by devoting his first care to
a diligent perusal of all such English writers as were most correct in
their language, and under every sentence which he meant to quote he drew
a line, and noted in the margin the first letter of the word under which
it was to occur. He then delivered these books to his clerks, who
transcribed each sentence on a separate slip of paper and arranged the
same under the word referred to. By these means he collected the several
words, and their different significations, and when the whole
arrangement was alphabetically formed, he gave the definitions of their
meanings, and collected their etymologies from Skinner, and other
writers on the subject." To these accounts, Hawkins adds his usual
carping, pompous testimony. "Dr. Johnson," he says, "who, before this
time, together with his wife, had lived in obscurity, lodging at
different houses in the courts and alleys in and about the Strand and
Fleet Street, had, for the purpose of carrying on this arduous work, and
being near the printers employed in it, taken a handsome house in Gough
Square, and fitted up a room in it with books and other accommodations
for amanuenses, who, to the number of five or six, he kept constantly
under his eye. An interleaved copy of "Bailey's Dictionary," in folio,
he made the repository of the several articles, and these he collected
by incessantly reading the best authors in our language, in the practice
whereof his method was to score with a black-lead pencil the words by
him selected. The books he used for this purpose were what he had in his
own collection, a copious but a miserably ragged one, and all such as he
could borrow; which latter, if ever they came back to those that lent
them, were so defaced as to be scarce worth owning, and yet some of his
friends were glad to receive and entertain them as curiosities."

"Mr. Burney," says Boswell, "during a visit to the capital, had an
interview with Johnson in Gough Square, where he dined and drank tea
with him, and was introduced to the acquaintance of Mrs. Williams. After
dinner Mr. Johnson proposed to Mr. Burney to go up with him into his
garret, which being accepted, he found there about five or six Greek
folios, a poor writing-desk, and a chair and a half. Johnson, giving to
his guest the entire seat, balanced himself on one with only three legs
and one arm. Here he gave Mr. Burney Mrs. Williams's history, and showed
him some notes on Shakespeare already printed, to prove that he was in
earnest. Upon Mr. Burney's opening the first volume at the _Merchant of
Venice_ he observed to him that he seemed to be more severe on Warburton
than on Theobald. 'Oh, poor Tib!' said Johnson, 'he was nearly knocked
down to my hands; Warburton stands between me and him.' 'But, sir,' said
Mr. Burney, 'You'll have Warburton on your bones, won't you? 'No, sir;'
he'll not come out; he'll only growl in his den.' 'But do you think,
sir, Warburton is a superior critic to Theobald?' 'Oh, sir, he'll make
two-and-fifty Theobalds cut into slices! The worst of Warburton is that
he has a rage for saying something when there's nothing to be said.' Mr.
Burney then asked him whether he had seen the letter Warburton had
written in answer to a pamphlet addressed 'to the most impudent man
alive.' He answered in the negative. Mr. Burney told him it was supposed
to be written by Mallet. A controversy now raged between the friends of
Pope and Bolingbroke, and Warburton and Mallet were the leaders of the
several parties. Mr. Burney asked him then if he had seen Warburton's
book against Bolingbroke's philosophy!'No, sir; I have never read
Bolingbroke's impiety, and therefore am not interested about its
refutation.'"

Goldsmith appears to have resided at No. 6, Wine Office Court from 1760
to 1762, during which period he earned a precarious livelihood by
writing for the booksellers.

They still point out Johnson and Goldsmith's favourite seats in the
north-east corner of the window of that cozy though utterly
unpretentious tavern, the "Cheshire Cheese," in this court.

It was while living in Wine Office Court that Goldsmith is supposed to
have partly written that delightful novel "The Vicar of Wakefield,"
which he had begun at Canonbury Tower. We like to think that, seated at
the "Cheese," he perhaps espied and listened to the worthy but credulous
vicar and his gosling son attending to the profound theories of the
learned and philosophic but shifty Mr. Jenkinson. We think now by the
window, with a cross light upon his coarse Irish features, and his round
prominent brow, we see the watchful poet sit eyeing his prey, secretly
enjoying the grandiloquence of the swindler and the admiration of the
honest country parson.

"One day," says Mrs. Piozzi, "Johnson was called abruptly from our house
at Southwark, after dinner, and, returning in about three hours, said he
had been with an enraged author, whose landlady pressed him within doors
while the bailiffs beset him without; that he was drinking himself drunk
with Madeira to drown care, and fretting over a novel which, when
finished, was to be his whole fortune; but he could not get it done for
distraction, nor dared he stir out of doors to offer it for sale. Mr.
Johnson, therefore," she continues, "sent away the bottle and went to
the bookseller, recommending the performance, and devising some
immediate relief; which, when he brought back to the writer, the latter
called the woman of the house directly to partake of punch and pass
their time in merriment. It was not," she concludes, "till ten years
after, I dare say, that something in Dr. Goldsmith's behaviour struck me
with an idea that he was the very man; and then Johnson confessed that
he was so."

"A more scrupulous and patient writer," says the admirable biographer of
the poet, Mr. John Forster, "corrects some inaccuracies of the lively
little lady, and professes to give the anecdote authentically from
Johnson's own exact narration. 'I received one morning,' Boswell
represents Johnson to have said, 'a message from poor Goldsmith, that he
was in great distress, and, as it was not in his power to come to me,
begging that I would come to him as soon as possible. I sent him a
guinea, and promised to come to him directly. I accordingly went as soon
as I was dressed, and found that his landlady had arrested him for his
rent, at which he was in a violent passion. I perceived that he had
already changed my guinea, and had got a bottle of Madeira and a glass
before him. I put the cork into the bottle, desired he would be calm,
and began to talk to him of the means by which he might be extricated.
He then told me that he had a novel ready for the press, which he
produced to me. I looked into it and saw its merits, told the landlady I
should soon return, and, having gone to a bookseller, sold it for £60. I
brought Goldsmith the money, and he discharged his rent, not without
rating his landlady in a high tone for having used him so ill.'"

[Illustration: GOUGH SQUARE (_see page 118_).]

The arrest is plainly connected with Newbery's reluctance to make
further advances, and of all Mrs. Fleming's accounts found among
Goldsmith's papers, the only one unsettled is that for the summer months
preceding the arrest. The manuscript of the novel seems by both
statements (in which the discrepancies are not so great but that Johnson
himself may be held accountable for them) to have been produced
reluctantly, as a last resource; and it is possible, as Mrs. Piozzi
intimates, that it was still regarded as unfinished. But if strong
adverse reasons had not existed, Johnson would surely have carried it
to the elder Newbery. He did not do this. He went with it to Francis
Newbery, the nephew; does not seem to have given a very brilliant
account of the "merit" he had perceived in it--four years after its
author's death he told Reynolds that he did not think it would have had
much success--and rather with regard to Goldsmith's immediate want than
to any confident sense of the value of the copy, asked and obtained the
£60. "And, sir," he said afterwards, "a sufficient price, too, when it
was sold, for then the fame of Goldsmith had not been elevated, as it
afterwards was, by his 'Traveller,' and the bookseller had faint hopes
of profit by his bargain. After 'The Traveller,' to be sure, it was
accidentally worth more money."

[Illustration: WINE OFFICE COURT AND THE "CHESHIRE CHEESE" (_see page
122_).]

On the poem, meanwhile, the elder Newbery _had_ consented to speculate,
and this circumstance may have made it hopeless to appeal to him with a
second work of fancy. For, on that very day of the arrest, "The
Traveller" lay completed in the poet's desk. The dream of eight years,
the solace and sustainment of his exile and poverty, verged at last to
fulfilment or extinction, and the hopes and fears which centred in it
doubtless mingled on that miserable day with the fumes of the Madeira.
In the excitement of putting it to press, which followed immediately
after, the nameless novel recedes altogether from the view, but will
reappear in due time. Johnson approved the verses more than the novel;
read the proof-sheets for his friend; substituted here and there, in
more emphatic testimony of general approval, a line of his own; prepared
a brief but hearty notice for the _Critical Review_, which was to appear
simultaneously with the poem, and, as the day of publication drew near,
bade Goldsmith be of good heart.

Oliver Goldsmith came first to London in 1756, a raw Irish student,
aged twenty-eight. He was just fresh from Italy and Switzerland. He had
heard Voltaire talk, had won a degree at Louvaine or Padua, had been
"bear leader" to the stingy nephew of a rich pawnbroker, and had played
the flute at the door of Flemish peasants for a draught of beer and a
crust of bread. No city of golden pavement did London prove to those
worn and dusty feet. Almost a beggar had Oliver been, then an
apothecary's journeyman and quack doctor, next a reader of proofs for
Richardson, the novelist and printer; after that a tormented and jaded
usher at a Peckham school; last, and worst of all, a hack writer of
articles for Griffith's _Monthly Review_, then being opposed by Smollett
in a rival publication. In Green Arbour Court Goldsmith spent the
roughest part of the toilsome years before he became known to the world.
There he formed an acquaintance with Johnson and his set, and wrote
essays for Smollett's _British Magazine_.

Wine Office Court is supposed to have derived its name from an office
where licenses to sell wine were formerly issued. "In this court," says
Mr. Noble, "once flourished a fig tree, planted a century ago by the
Vicar of St. Bride's, who resided, with an absence of pride suitable, if
not common, to Christianity, at No. 12. It was a slip from another exile
of a tree, formerly flourishing, in a sooty kind of grandeur, at the
sign of the 'Fig Tree,' in Fleet Street. This tree was struck by
lightning in 1820, but slips from the growing stump were planted in
1822, in various parts of England."

The old-fashioned and changeless character of the "Cheese," in whose
low-roofed and sanded rooms Goldsmith and Johnson have so often hung up
their cocked hats and sat down facing each other to a snug dinner, not
unattended with punch, has been capitally sketched by a modern essayist,
who possesses a thorough knowledge of the physiology of London. In an
admirable paper entitled "Brain Street," Mr. George Augustus Sala thus
describes Wine Office Court and the "Cheshire Cheese":--

"The vast establishments," says Mr. Sala, "of Messrs. Pewter & Antimony,
typefounders (Alderman Antimony was Lord Mayor in the year '46); of
Messrs. Quoin, Case, & Chappell, printers to the Board of Blue Cloth; of
Messrs. Cutedge & Treecalf, bookbinders; with the smaller industries of
Scawper & Tinttool, wood-engravers; and Treacle, Gluepot, & Lampblack,
printing-roller makers, are packed together in the upper part of the
court as closely as herrings in a cask. The 'Cheese' is at the Brain
Street end. It is a little lop-sided, wedged-up house, that always
reminds you, structurally, of a high-shouldered man with his hands in
his pockets. It is full of holes and corners and cupboards and sharp
turnings; and in ascending the stairs to the tiny smoking-room you must
tread cautiously, if you would not wish to be tripped up by plates and
dishes, momentarily deposited there by furious waiters. The waiters at
the 'Cheese' are always furious. Old customers abound in the comfortable
old tavern, in whose sanded-floored eating-rooms a new face is a rarity;
and the guests and the waiters are the oldest of familiars. Yet the
waiter seldom fails to bite your nose off as a preliminary measure when
you proceed to pay him. How should it be otherwise when on that waiter's
soul there lies heavy a perpetual sense of injury caused by the savoury
odour of steaks, and 'muts' to follow; of cheese-bubbling in tiny
tins--the 'specialty' of the house; of floury potatoes and fragrant
green peas; of cool salads, and cooler tankards of bitter beer; of
extra-creaming stout and 'goes' of Cork and 'rack,' by which is meant
gin; and, in the winter-time, of Irish stew and rump-steak pudding,
glorious and grateful to every sense? To be compelled to run to and fro
with these succulent viands from noon to late at night, without being
able to spare time to consume them in comfort--where do waiters dine,
and when, and how?--to be continually taking other people's money only
for the purpose of handing it to other people--are not these grievances
sufficient to cross-grain the temper of the mildest-mannered waiter?
Somebody is always in a passion at the 'Cheese:' either a customer,
because there is not fat enough on his 'point'-steak, or because there
is too much bone in his mutton-chop; or else the waiter is wrath with
the cook; or the landlord with the waiter, or the barmaid with all. Yes,
there is a barmaid at the 'Cheese,' mewed up in a box not much bigger
than a birdcage, surrounded by groves of lemons, 'ones' of cheese,
punch-bowls, and cruets of mushroom-catsup. I should not care to dispute
with her, lest she should quoit me over the head with a punch-ladle,
having a William-the-Third guinea soldered in the bowl.

"Let it be noted in candour that Law finds its way to the 'Cheese' as
well as Literature; but the Law is, as a rule, of the non-combatant and,
consequently, harmless order. Literary men who have been called to the
bar, but do not practise; briefless young barristers, who do not object
to mingling with newspaper men; with a sprinkling of retired solicitors
(amazing dogs these for old port-wine; the landlord has some of the same
bin which served as Hippocrene to Judge Blackstone when he wrote his
'Commentaries')--these make up the legal element of the 'Cheese.' Sharp
attorneys in practice are not popular there. There is a legend that a
process-server once came in at a back door to serve a writ; but being
detected by a waiter, was skilfully edged by that wary retainer into
Wine Bottle Court, right past the person on whom he was desirous to
inflict the 'Victoria, by the grace, &c.' Once in the court, he was set
upon by a mob of inky-faced boys just released from the works of Messrs.
Ball, Roller, & Scraper, machine printers, and by the skin of his teeth
only escaped being converted into 'pie.'"

Mr. William Sawyer has also written a very admirable sketch of the
"Cheese" and its old-fashioned, conservative ways, which we cannot
resist quoting:--

"We are a close, conservative, inflexible body--we, the regular
frequenters of the 'Cheddar,'" says Mr. Sawyer. "No new-fangled notions,
new usages, new customs, or new customers for us. We have our history,
our traditions, and our observances, all sacred and inviolable. Look
around! There is nothing new, gaudy, flippant, or effeminately luxurious
here. A small room with heavily-timbered windows. A low planked ceiling.
A huge, projecting fire-place, with a great copper boiler always on the
simmer, the sight of which might have roused even old John Willett, of
the 'Maypole,' to admiration. High, stiff-backed, inflexible 'settles,'
hard and grainy in texture, box off the guests, half-a-dozen each to a
table. Sawdust covers the floor, giving forth that peculiar faint odour
which the French avoid by the use of the vine sawdust with its pleasant
aroma. The only ornament in which we indulge is a solitary picture over
the mantelpiece, a full-length of a now departed waiter, whom in the
long past we caused to be painted, by subscription of the whole room, to
commemorate his virtues and our esteem. He is depicted in the scene of
his triumphs--in the act of giving change to a customer. We sit bolt
upright round our tables, waiting, but not impatient. A time-honoured
solemnity is about to be observed, and we, the old stagers, is it for us
to precipitate it? There are men in this room who have dined here every
day for a quarter of a century--aye, the whisper goes that one man did
it even on his wedding-day! In all that time the more staid and
well-regulated among us have observed a steady regularity of feeding.
Five days in the week we have our 'Rotherham steak'--that mystery of
mysteries--or our 'chop and chop to follow,' with the indispensable
wedge of Cheddar--unless it is preferred stewed or toasted--and on
Saturday decorous variety is afforded in a plate of the world-renowned
'Cheddar' pudding. It is of this latter luxury that we are now assembled
to partake, and that with all fitting ceremony and observance. As we
sit, like pensioners in hall, the silence is broken only by a strange
sound, as of a hardly human voice, muttering cabalistic words, 'Ullo mul
lum de loodle wumble jum!' it cries, and we know that chops and potatoes
are being ordered for some benighted outsider, ignorant of the fact that
it is pudding-day."




CHAPTER XI.

FLEET STREET TRIBUTARIES--SHOE LANE.

    The First Lucifers--Perkins' Steam Gun--A Link between Shakespeare
    and Shoe Lane--Florio and his Labours--"Cogers' Hall"--Famous
    "Cogers"--A Saturday Night's Debate--Gunpowder Alley--Richard
    Lovelace, the Cavalier Poet--"To Althea, from Prison"--Lilly the
    Astrologer, and his Knaveries--A Search for Treasure with Davy
    Ramsay--Hogarth in Harp Alley--The "Society of Sign
    Painters"--Hudson, the Song Writer--"Jack Robinson"--The Bishop's
    Residence--Bangor House--A Strange Story of Unstamped
    Newspapers--Chatterton's Death--Curious Legend of his Burial--A
    well-timed Joke.


At the east corner of Peterborough Court (says Mr. Timbs) was one of the
earliest shops for the instantaneous light apparatus, "Hertner's
Eupyrion" (phosphorus and oxymuriate matches, to be dipped in sulphuric
acid and asbestos), the costly predecessor of the lucifer match. Nearly
opposite were the works of Jacob Perkins, the engineer of the steam gun
exhibited at the Adelaide Gallery, Strand, and which the Duke of
Wellington truly foretold would never be advantageously employed in
battle.

One golden thread of association links Shakespeare to Shoe Lane. Slight
and frail is the thread, yet it has a double strand. In this narrow
side-aisle of Fleet Street, in 1624, lived John Florio, the compiler of
our first Italian dictionary. Now it is more than probable that our
great poet knew this industrious Italian, as we shall presently show.
Florio was a Waldensian teacher, no doubt driven to England by religious
persecution. He taught French and Italian with success at Oxford, and
finally was appointed tutor to that generous-minded, hopeful, and
unfortunate Prince Henry, son of James I. Florio's "Worlde of Wordes" (a
most copious and exact dictionary in Italian and English) was printed in
1598, and published by Arnold Hatfield for Edward Church, and "sold at
his shop over against the north door of Paul's Church." It is dedicated
to "The Right Honourable Patrons of Virtue, Patterns of Honour, Roger
Earle of Rutland, Henrie Earle of Southampton, and Lucie Countess of
Bedford." In the dedication, worthy of the fantastic author of "Euphues"
himself, the author says:--"My hope springs out of three stems--your
Honours' naturall benignitie; your able emploiment of such servitours;
and the towardly like-lie-hood of this springall to do you honest
service. The first, to vouchsafe all; the second, to accept this; the
third, to applie it selfe to the first and second. Of the first, your
birth, your place, and your custome; of the second, your studies, your
conceits, and your exercise; of the thirde, my endeavours, my
proceedings, and my project giues assurance. Your birth, highly noble,
more than gentle; your place, above others, as in degree, so in height
of bountie, and other vertues; your custome, never wearie of well doing;
your studies much in all, most in Italian excellence; your conceits, by
understanding others to worke above them in your owne; your exercise, to
reade what the world's best writers have written, and to speake as they
write. My endeavour, to apprehend the best, if not all; my proceedings,
to impart my best, first to your Honours, then to all that emploie me;
my proiect in this volume to comprehend the best and all, in truth, I
acknowledge an entyre debt, not only of my best knowledge, but of all,
yea, of more than I know or can, to your bounteous lordship, most noble,
most vertuous, and most Honorable Earle of Southampton, in whose paie
and patronage I haue liued some yeeres; to whom I owe and vowe the
yeeres I haue to live.... Good parts imparted are not empaired; your
springs are first to serue yourself, yet may yeelde your neighbours
sweete water; your taper is to light you first, and yet it may light
your neighbour's candle.... Accepting, therefore, of the childe, I hope
your Honors' wish as well to the Father, who to your Honors' all deuoted
wisheth meede of your merits, renowne of your vertues, and health of
your persons, humblie with gracious leave kissing your thrice-honored
hands, protesteth to continue euer your Honors' most humble and bounden
in true seruice, JOHN FLORIO."

And now to connect Florio with Shakespeare. The industrious Savoyard,
besides his dictionary--of great use at a time when the tour to Italy
was a necessary completion of a rich gallant's education--translated the
essays of that delightful old Gascon egotist, Montaigne. Now in a copy
of Florio's "Montaigne" there was found some years ago one of the very
few genuine Shakespeare signatures. Moreover, as Florio speaks of the
Earl of Southampton as his steady patron, we may fairly presume that the
great poet, who must have been constantly at Southampton's house, often
met there the old Italian master. May not the bard in those
conversations have perhaps gathered some hints for the details of
_Cymbeline_, _Romeo and Juliet_, _Othello_, or _The Two Gentlemen of
Verona_, and had his attention turned by the old scholar to fresh
chapters of Italian story?

No chronicle of Shoe Lane would be complete without some mention of the
"Cogers' Discussion Hall," formerly at No. 10. This useful debating
society--a great resort for local politicians--was founded by Mr. Daniel
Mason as long ago as 1755, and among its most eminent members it glories
in the names of John Wilkes, Judge Keogh, Daniel O'Connell, and the
eloquent Curran. The word "Coger" does not imply codger, or a drinker of
cogs, but comes from _cogite_, to cogitate. The Grand, Vice-Grand, and
secretary were elected on the night of every 14th of June by show of
hands. The room was open to strangers, but the members had the right to
speak first. The society was Republican in the best sense, for side by
side with master tradesmen, shopmen, and mechanics, reporters and young
barristers gravely sipped their grog, and abstractedly emitted wreathing
columns of tobacco-smoke from their pipes. Mr. J. Parkinson has sketched
the little parliament very pleasantly in the columns of a contemporary.

"A long low room," says the writer, "like the saloon of a large steamer.
Wainscoat dimmed and ornaments tarnished by tobacco-smoke and the
lingering dews of steaming compounds. A room with large niches at each
end, like shrines for full-grown saints, one niche containing 'My Grand'
in a framework of shabby gold, the other 'My Grand's Deputy' in a
bordering more substantial. More than one hundred listeners are wating
patiently for My Grand's utterances this Saturday night, and are whiling
away the time philosophically with bibulous and nicotian refreshment.
The narrow tables of the long room are filled with students and
performers, and quite a little crowd is congregated at the door and in a
room adjacent until places can be found for them in the
presence-chamber. 'Established 1755' is inscribed on the ornamental
signboard above us, and 'Instituted 1756' on another signboard near.
Dingy portraits of departed Grands and Deputies decorate the walls.
Punctually at nine My Grand opens the proceedings amid profound silence.
The deputy buries himself in his newspaper, and maintains as profound a
calm as the Speaker 'in another place.' The most perfect order is
preserved. The Speaker or deputy, who seems to know all about it, rolls
silently in his chair: he is a fat dark man, with a small and rather
sleepy eye, such as I have seen come to the surface and wink lazily at
the fashionable people clustered round a certain tank in the Zoological
Gardens. He re-folds his newspaper from time to time until deep in the
advertisements. The waiters silently remove empty tumblers and tankards,
and replace them full. But My Grand commands profound attention from the
room, and a neighbour, who afterwards proved a perfect Boanerges in
debate, whispered to us concerning his vast attainments and high
literary position.

"This chieftain of the Thoughtful Men is, we learn, the leading
contributor to a newspaper of large circulation, and, under his
signature of 'Locksley Hall,' rouses the sons of toil to a sense of the
dignity and rights of labour, and exposes the profligacy and corruption
of the rich to the extent of a column and a quarter every week. A
shrewd, hard-headed man of business, with a perfect knowledge of what he
had to do, and with a humorous twinkle of the eye, My Grand went
steadily through his work, and gave the Thoughtful Men his epitome of
the week's intelligence. It seemed clear that the Cogers had either not
read the newspapers, or liked to be told what they already knew. They
listened with every token of interest to facts which had been published
for days, and it seemed difficult to understand how a debate could be
carried on when the text admitted so little dispute. But we sadly
underrated the capacity of the orators near us. The sound of My Grand's
last sentence had not died out when a fresh-coloured, rather
aristocratic-looking elderly man, whose white hair was carefully combed
and smoothed, and whose appearance and manner suggested a very different
arena to the one he waged battle in now, claimed the attention of the
Thoughtful ones. Addressing 'Mee Grand' in the rich and unctuous tones
which a Scotchman and Englishman might try for in vain, this orator
proceeded, with every profession of respect, to contradict most of the
chief's statements, to ridicule his logic, and to compliment him with
much irony on his overwhelming goodness to the society 'to which I have
the honour to belong. Full of that hard _northern_ logic' (much emphasis
on 'northern,' which was warmly accepted as a hit by the room)--'that
hard northern logic which demonstrates everything to its own
satisfaction; abounding in that talent which makes you, sir, a leader in
politics, a guide in theology, and generally an instructor of the
people; yet even you, sir, are perhaps, if I may say so, somewhat
deficient in the lighter graces of pathos and humour. Your speech, sir,
has commanded the attention of the room. Its close accuracy of style,
its exactitude of expression, its consistent argument, and its generally
transcendant ability will exercise, I doubt not, an influence which will
extend far beyond this chamber, filled as this chamber is by gentlemen
of intellect and education, men of the time, who both think and feel,
and who make their feelings and their thoughts felt by others. Still,
sir,' and the orator smiles the smile of ineffable superiority,
'grateful as the members of the society you have so kindly alluded to
ought to be for your countenance and patronage, it needed not' (turning
to the Thoughtful Men generally, with a sarcastic smile)--'it needed not
even Mee Grand's encomiums to endear this society to its people, and to
strengthen their belief in its efficacy in time of trouble, its power to
help, to relieve, and to assuage. No, Mee Grand, an authoritee whose
dictum even you will accept without dispute--mee Lord Macaulee--that
great historian whose undying pages record those struggles and trials of
constitutionalism in which the Cogers have borne no mean part--me Lord
Macaulee mentions, with a respect and reverence not exceeded by Mee
Grand's utterances of to-night' (more smiles of mock humility to the
room) 'that great association which claims me as an unworthy son. We
could, therefore, have dispensed with the recognition given us by Mee
Grand; we could afford to wait our time until the nations of the earth
are fused by one common wish for each other's benefit, when the
principles of Cogerism are spread over the civilised world, when justice
reigns supreme, and loving-kindness takes the place of jealousy and
hate.' We looked round the room while these fervid words were being
triumphantly rolled forth, and were struck with the calm impassiveness
of the listeners. There seemed to be no partisanship either for the
speaker or the Grand. Once, when the former was more than usually
emphatic in his denunciations, a tall pale man, with a Shakespeare
forehead, rose suddenly, with a determined air, as if about to fiercely
interrupt; but it turned out he only wanted to catch the waiter's eye,
and this done, he pointed silently to his empty glass, and remarked, in
a hoarse whisper, 'Without sugar, as before.'"

[Illustration: COGERS' HALL (_see page 124_).]

Gunpowder Alley, a side-twig of Shoe Lane, leads us to the death-bed of
an unhappy poet, poor Richard Lovelace, the Cavalier, who, dying here
two years before the "blessed" Restoration, in a very mean lodging, was
buried at the west end of St. Bride's Church. The son of a knight, and
brought up at Oxford, Anthony Wood describes the gallant and hopeful lad
at sixteen, when presented at the Court of Charles I., as "the most
amiable and beautiful youth that eye ever beheld. A person, also, of
innate modesty, virtue, and courtly deportment, which made him then, but
specially after, when he retired to the great city, much admired and
adored by the female sex." Presenting a daring petition from Kent in
favour of the king, the Cavalier poet was thrown into prison by the Long
Parliament, and was released only to waste his fortune in Royalist
plots. He served in the French army, raised a regiment for Louis XIII.,
and was left for dead at Dunkirk. On his return to England, he found
Lucy Sacheverell--his "Lucretia," the lady of his love--married, his
death having been reported. All went ill. He was again imprisoned, grew
penniless, had to borrow, and fell into a consumption from despair for
love and loyalty. "Having consumed all his estate," says Anthony Wood,
"he grew very melancholy, which at length brought him into a
consumption; became very poor in body and purse, was the object of
charity, went in ragged clothes (whereas when he was in his glory he
wore cloth of gold and silver), and mostly lodged in obscure and dirty
places, more befitting the worst of beggars than poorest of servants."
There is a doubt, however, as to whether Lovelace died in such abject
poverty, poor, dependent, and unhappy as he might have been. Lovelace's
verse is often strained, affected, and wanting in judgment; but at times
he mounts a bright-winged Pegasus, and with plume and feather flying,
tosses his hand up, gay and chivalrous as Rupert's bravest. His verses
to Lucy Sacheverell, on leaving her for the French camp, are worthy of
Montrose himself. The last two lines--

    "I could not love thee, dear, so much,
    Lov'd I not honour more"--

contain the thirty-nine articles of a soldier's faith. And what Wildrake
could have sung in the Gate House or the Compter more gaily of liberty
than Lovelace, when he wrote,--

    "Stone walls do not a prison make,
      Nor iron bars a cage;
    Minds innocent and quiet take
      That for a hermitage.
    If I have freedom in my love,
      And in my soul am free,
    Angels alone, that soar above,
      Enjoy such liberty"?

[Illustration: LOVELACE IN PRISON (_see page 128_).]

Whenever we read the verse that begins,--

    "When love, with unconfinèd wings,
      Hovers within my gates,
    And my divine Althea brings,
      To whisper at my grates,"

the scene rises before us--we see a fair pale face, with its aureole of
golden hair gleaming between the rusty bars of the prison door, and the
worn visage of the wounded Cavalier turning towards it as the flower
turns to the sun. And surely Master Wildrake himself, with his glass of
sack half-way to his mouth, never put it down to sing a finer Royalist
stave than Lovelace's "To Althea, from Prison,"--

    "When, linnet-like, confined, I
      With shriller note shall sing
    The mercy, sweetness, majesty,
      And glories of my king;
    When I shall voice aloud how good
      He is, how great should be,
    Th' enlarged winds that curl the flood
      Know no such liberty."

In the Cromwell times there resided in Gunpowder Alley, probably to the
scorn of poor dying Lovelace, that remarkable cheat and early medium,
Lilly the astrologer, the Sidrophel of "Hudibras." This rascal, who
supplied the King and Parliament alternately with equally veracious
predictions, was in youth apprenticed to a mantua-maker in the Strand,
and on his master's death married his widow. Lilly studied astrology
under one Evans, an ex-clergyman, who told fortunes in Gunpowder Alley.
Besotted by the perusal of Cornelius Agrippa and other such trash,
Lilly, found fools plenty, and the stars, though potent in their
spheres, unable to contradict his lies. This artful cheat was consulted
as to the most propitious day and hour for Charles's escape from
Carisbrook, and was even sent for by the Puritan generals to encourage
their men before Colchester. Lilly was a spy of the Parliament, yet at
the Restoration professed to disclose the fact that Cornet Joyce had
beheaded Charles. Whenever his predictions or his divining-rod failed,
he always attributed his failures, as the modern spiritualists, the
successors of the old wizards, still conveniently do, to want of faith
in the spectators. By means of his own shrewdness, rather than by
stellar influence, Lilly obtained many useful friends, among whom we may
specially particularise the King of Sweden, Lenthal the Puritan Speaker,
Bulstrode Whitelocke (Cromwell's Minister), and the learned but
credulous Elias Ashmole. Lilly's Almanac, the predecessor of Moore's and
Zadkiel's, was carried on by him for six-and-thirty years. He claimed to
be a special _protégé_ of an angel called Salmonæus, and to have a more
than bowing acquaintance with Salmael and Malchidael, the guardian
angels of England. Among his works are his autobiography, and his
"Observations on the Life and Death of Charles, late King of England."
The rest of his effusions are pretentious, mystical, muddle-headed
rubbish, half nonsense half knavery, as "The White King's Prophecy,"
"Supernatural Light," "The Starry Messenger," and "Annus Tenebrosus, or
the Black Year." The rogue's starry mantle descended on his adopted son,
a tailor, whom he named Merlin, junior. The credulity of the atheistical
times of Charles II. is only equalled by that of our own day.

Lilly himself, in his amusing, half-knavish autobiography, has described
his first introduction to the Welsh astrologer of Gunpowder Alley:--

"It happened," he says, "on one Sunday, 1632, as myself and a justice of
peace's clerk were, before service, discoursing of many things, he
chanced to say that such a person was a great scholar--nay, so learned
that he could make an almanac, which to me then was strange; one speech
begot another, till, at last, he said he could bring me acquainted with
one Evans, in Gunpowder Alley, who had formerly lived in Staffordshire,
that was an excellent wise man, and studied the black art. The same week
after we went to see Mr. Evans. When we came to his house, he, having
been drunk the night before, was upon his bed, if it be lawful to call
that a bed whereon he then lay. He roused up himself, and after some
compliments he was content to instruct me in astrology. I attended his
best opportunities for seven or eight weeks, in which time I could set a
figure perfectly. Books he had not any, except Haly, 'De Judiciis
Astrorum,' and Orriganus's 'Ephemerides;' so that as often as I entered
his house I thought I was in the wilderness. Now, something of the man.
He was by birth a Welshman, a master of arts, and in sacred orders. He
had formerly had a cure of souls in Staffordshire, but now was come to
try his fortunes at London, being in a manner enforced to fly, for some
offences very scandalous committed by him in those parts where he had
lately lived; for he gave judgment upon things lost, the only shame of
astrology. He was the most saturnine person my eye ever beheld, either
before I practised or since; of a middle stature, broad forehead,
beetle-browed, thick shoulders, flat-nosed, full lips, down-looked,
black, curling, stiff hair, splay-footed. To give him his right, he had
the most piercing judgment naturally upon a figure of theft, and many
other questions, that I ever met withal; yet for money he would
willingly give contrary judgments; was much addicted to debauchery, and
then very abusive and quarrelsome; seldom without a black eye or one
mischief or other. This is the same Evans who made so many antimonial
cups, upon the sale whereof he chiefly subsisted. He understood Latin
very well, the Greek tongue not all; he had some arts above and beyond
astrology, for he was well versed in the nature of spirits, and had many
times used the circular way of invocating, as in the time of our
familiarity he told me."

One of Lilly's most impudent attempts to avail himself of demoniacal
assistance was when he dug for treasure (like Scott's Dousterswivel)
with David Ramsay (Scott again), one stormy night, in the cloisters at
Westminster.

"Davy Ramsay," says the arch rogue, "his majesty's clockmaker, had been
informed that there was a great quantity of treasure buried in the
cloisters of Westminster Abbey; he acquaints Dean Williams therewith,
who was also then Bishop of Lincoln; the dean gave him liberty to search
after it, with this proviso, that if any was discovered his church
should have a share of it. Davy Ramsay finds out one John Scott,[4] who
pretended the use of the Mosaical rods, to assist him therein. I was
desired to join with him, unto which I consented. One winter's night
Davy Ramsay,[5] with several gentlemen, myself, and Scott, entered the
cloisters; upon the west side of the cloisters the rods turned one over
another, an argument that the treasure was there. The labourers digged
at least six feet deep, and then we met with a coffin, but in regard it
was not heavy, we did not open, which we afterwards much repented. From
the cloisters we went into the abbey church, where upon a sudden (there
being no wind when we began) so fierce, so high, so blustering and loud
a wind did rise, that we verily believed the west-end of the church
would have fallen upon us; our rods would not move at all; the candles
and torches, all but one, were extinguished, or burned very dimly. John
Scott, my partner, was amazed, looked pale, knew not what to think or
do, until I gave directions and command to dismiss the demons, which
when done all was quiet again, and each man returned unto his lodging
late, about twelve o'clock at night. I could never since be induced to
join with any in such-like actions.

"The true miscarriage of the business was by reason of so many people
being present at the operation, for there was about thirty--some
laughing, others deriding us; so that if we had not dismissed the
demons, I believe most part of the abbey church had been blown down.
Secrecy and intelligent operators, with a strong confidence and
knowledge of what they are doing, are best for this work."

In the last century, when every shop had its sign and London streets
were so many out-of-door picture-galleries, a Dutchman named Vandertrout
opened a manufactory of these pictorial advertisements in Harp Alley,
Shoe Lane, a dirty passage now laid open to the sun and air on the east
side of the new transverse street running from Ludgate Hill to Holborn.
In ridicule of the spurious black, treacly old masters then profusely
offered for sale by the picture-dealers of the day, Hogarth and Bonnell
Thornton opened an exhibition of shop-signs. In Nicholls and Stevens'
"Life of Hogarth" there is a full and racy account of this sarcastic
exhibition:--"At the entrance of the large passage-room was written,
'N.B. That the merit of the _modern masters_ may be fairly examined
into, it has been thought proper to place some admired works of the most
eminent _old masters_ in this room, and along the passage through the
yard.' Among these are 'A Barge' in still life, by Vandertrout. He
cannot be properly called an English artist; but not being sufficiently
encouraged in his own country, he left Holland with William the Third,
and was the first artist who settled in Harp Alley. An original
half-length of Camden, the great historian and antiquary, in his
herald's coat; by Vandertrout. As this artist was originally
colour-grinder to Hans Holbein, it is conjectured there are some of that
great master's touches in this piece. 'Nobody, _alias_ Somebody,' a
character. (The figure of an officer, all head, arms, legs, and thighs.
This piece has a very odd effect, being so drolly executed that you do
not miss the body.) 'Somebody, _alias_ Nobody,' a caricature, its
companion; both these by Hagarty. (A rosy figure, with a little head and
a huge body, whose belly sways over almost quite down to his
shoe-buckles. By the staff in his hand, it appears to be intended to
represent a constable. It might else have been intended for an eminent
justice of peace.) 'A Perspective View of Billingsgate, or Lectures on
Elocution;' and 'The True Robin Hood Society, a Conversation or Lectures
on Elocution,' its companion; these two by Barnsley. (These two strike
at a famous lecturer on elocution and the reverend projector of a
rhetorical academy, are admirably conceived and executed, and--the
latter more especially--almost worthy the hand of Hogarth. They are full
of a variety of droll figures, and seem, indeed, to be the work of a
great master struggling to suppress his superiority of genius, and
endeavouring to paint _down_ to the common style and manner of
sign-painting.)

"At the entrance to the _grand room_:--'The Society of Sign Painters
take this opportunity of refuting a most malicious suggestion that their
exhibition is designed as a ridicule on the exhibitions of the Society
for the Encouragement of Arts, &c., and of the artists. They intend
theirs only as an appendix or (in the style of painters) a companion to
the other. There is nothing in their collection which will be understood
by any candid person as a reflection on anybody, or any body of men.
They are not in the least prompted by any mean jealousy to depreciate
the merit of their brother artists. Animated by the same public spirit,
their sole view is to convince foreigners, as well as their own blinded
countrymen, that however inferior this nation may be unjustly deemed in
other branches of the polite arts, the palm for sign-painting must be
ceded to _us_, the Dutch themselves not excepted.' Projected in 1762 by
Mr. Bonnel Thornton, of festive memory; but I am informed that he
contributed no otherwise towards this display than by a few touches of
chalk. Among the heads of distinguished personages, finding those of the
King of Prussia and the Empress of Hungary, he changed the cast of their
eyes, so as to make them leer significantly at each other. Note.--These
(which in the catalogue are called an original portrait of the present
Emperor of Prussia and ditto of the Empress Queen of Hungary, its
antagonist) were two old signs of the "Saracen's Head" and Queen Anne.
Under the first was written 'The Zarr,' and under the other 'The Empress
Quean.' They were lolling their tongues out at each other; and over
their heads ran a wooden label, inscribed, 'The present state of
Europe.'

"In 1762 was published, in quarto, undated, 'A Catalogue of the Original
Paintings, Busts, and Carved Figures, &c. &c., now Exhibiting by the
Society of Sign-painters, at the Large Room, the upper end of Bow
Street, Covent Garden, nearly opposite the Playhouse.'"

At 98, Shoe Lane lived, now some fifty years ago, a tobacconist named
Hudson, a great humorist, a fellow of infinite fancy, and the writer of
half the comic songs that once amused festive London. Hudson afterwards,
we believe, kept the "Kean's Head" tavern, in Russell Court, Drury Lane,
and about 1830 had a shop of some kind or other in Museum Street,
Bloomsbury. Hudson was one of those professional song-writers and
vocalists who used to be engaged to sing at such supper-rooms and
theatrical houses as Offley's, in Henrietta Street (north-west end),
Covent Garden; the "Coal Hole," in the Strand; and the "Cider Cellars,"
Maiden Lane. Sitting among the company, Hudson used to get up at the
call of the chairman and "chant" one of his lively and really witty
songs. The platform belongs to "Evans's" and a later period. Hudson was
at his best long after Captain Morris's day, and at the time when
Moore's melodies were popular. Many of the melodies Hudson parodied very
happily, and with considerable tact and taste. Many of Hudson's songs,
such as "Jack Robinson" (infinitely funnier than most of Dibdin's),
became coined into catch-words and street sayings of the day. "Before
you could say Jack Robinson" is a phrase, still current, derived from
this highly droll song. The verse in which Jack Robinson's "engaged"
apologises for her infidelity is as good as anything that James Smith
ever wrote. To the returned sailor,--

    "Says the lady, says she, 'I've changed my state.'
    'Why, you don't mean,' says Jack, 'that you've got a mate?
    You know you promised me.' Says she, 'I couldn't wait,
    For no tidings could I gain of you, Jack Robinson.
    And somebody one day came to me and said
    That somebody else had somewhere read,
    In some newspaper, that you was somewhere dead.'--
    'I've not been dead at all,' says Jack Robinson."

Another song, "The Spider and the Fly," is still often sung; and "Going
to Coronation" is by no means forgotten in Yorkshire. "There was a Man
in the West Countrie" figures in most current collections of songs.
Hudson particularly excelled in stage-Irishman songs, which were then
popular; and some of these, particularly one that ends with the
refrain, "My brogue and my blarney and bothering ways," have real humour
in them. Many of these Irish songs were written for and sung by the late
Mr. Fitzwilliam, the comedian, as others of Hudson's songs were by Mr.
Rayner. Collectors of comic ditties will not readily forget "Walker, the
Twopenny Postman," or "The Dogs'-meat Man"--rough caricatures of low
life, unstained by the vulgarity of many of the modern music-hall
ditties. In the motto to one of his collections of poems, Hudson borrows
from Churchill an excuse for the rough, humorous effusions that he
scattered broadcast over the town,--

    "When the mad fit comes on, I seize the pen,
    Rough as they run, the rapid thoughts set down;
    Rough as they run, discharge them on the town.
    Hence rude, unfinished brats, before their time,
    Are born into this idle world of rhyme;
    And the poor slattern muse is brought to bed,
    With all her imperfections on her head."

We subjoin a very good specimen of Hudson's songs, from his once very
popular "Coronation of William and Adelaide" (1830), which, we think,
will be allowed to fully justify our praise of the author:--

    "And when we got to town, quite tired,
    The bells all rung, the guns they fired,
    The people looking all bemired,
                        In one conglomeration.
    Soldiers red, policemen blue,
    Horse-guards, foot-guards, and blackguards too,
    Beef-eaters, dukes, and Lord knows who,
                        To see the coronation.

    While Dolly bridled up, so proud,
    At us the people laughed aloud;
    Dobbin stood in thickest crowd,
                        Wi' quiet resignation.
    To move again he warn't inclined;
    'Here's a chap!' says one behind,
    'He's brought an old horse, lame and blind,
                        To see the coronation.'

    Dolly cried, 'Oh! dear, oh! dear,
    I wish I never had come here,
    To suffer every jibe and jeer,
                        In such a situation.'
    While so busy, she and I
    To get a little ease did try,
    By goles! the king and queen went by,
                        And all the coronation.

    I struggled hard, and Dolly cried;
    And tho' to help myself I tried,
    We both were carried with the tide,
                        Against our inclination.
    'The reign's begun!' folks cried; ''tis true;'
    'Sure,' said Dolly, 'I think so too;
    The rain's begun, for I'm wet thro',
                        All through the coronation.'

    We bade good-bye to Lunnun town;
    The king and queen they gain'd a crown;
    Dolly spoilt her bran-new gown,
                        To her mortification.
    I'll drink our king and queen wi' glee,
    In home-brewed ale, and so will she;
    But Doll and I ne'er want to see
                        Another coronation."

Our English bishops, who had not the same taste as the Cistercians in
selecting pleasant places for their habitations, seem during the Middle
Ages to have much affected the neighbourhood of Fleet Street. Ely Place
still marks the residence of one rich prelate. In Chichester Rents we
have already met with the humble successors of the netmaker of Galilee.
In a siding on the north-west side of Shoe Lane the Bishops of Bangor
lived, with their spluttering and choleric Welsh retinue, as early as
1378. Recent improvements have laid open the miserable "close" called
Bangor Court, that once glowed with the reflections of scarlet hoods and
jewelled copes; and a schoolhouse of bastard Tudor architecture, with
sham turrets and flimsy mullioned windows, now occupies the site of the
proud Christian prelate's palace. Bishop Dolben, who died in 1633
(Charles I.), was the last Welsh bishop who deigned to reside in a
neighbourhood from which wealth and fashion was fast ebbing. Brayley
says that a part of the old episcopal garden, where the ecclesiastical
subjects of centuries had been discussed by shaven men and frocked
scholars, still existed in 1759 (George II.); and, indeed, as Mr. Jesse
records, even as late as 1828 (George IV.) a portion of the old mansion,
once redolent with the stupefying incense of the semi-pagan Church,
still lingered. Bangor House, according to Mr. J.T. Smith, is mentioned
in the patent rolls as early as Edward III. The lawyers' barbarous
dog-Latin of the old-deed describe, "unum messuag, unum placeam terræ,
ac unam gardniam, cum aliis edificis," in Shoe Lane, London. In 1647
(Charles I.) Sir John Birkstead purchased of the Parliamentary trustees
the bishop's lands, that had probably been confiscated, to build streets
upon the site. But Sir John went on paving the old place, and never
built at all. Cromwell's Act of 1657, to check the increase of London,
entailed a special exemption in his favour. At the Restoration, the land
returned to its Welsh bishop; but it had degenerated--the palace was
divided into several residences, and mean buildings sprang up like fungi
around it. A drawing of Malcolm's, early in the century, shows us its
two Tudor windows. Latterly it became divided into wretched rooms, and
two as three hundred poor people, chiefly Irish, herded in them. The
house was entirely pulled down in the autumn of 1828.

[Illustration: BANGOR HOUSE, 1818 (_see page 131_).]

Mr. Grant, that veteran of the press, tells a capital story, in his
"History of the Newspaper Press," of one of the early vendors of
unstamped newspapers in Shoe Lane:--

"_Cleaves Police Gazette_," says Mr. Grant, "consisted chiefly of
reports of police cases. It certainly was a newspaper to all intents and
purposes, and was ultimately so declared to be in a court of law by a
jury. But in the meantime, while the action was pending, the police had
instructions to arrest Mr. John Cleave, the proprietor, and seize all
the copies of the paper as they came out of his office in Shoe Lane. He
contrived for a time to elude their vigilance; and in order to prevent
the seizure of his paper, he resorted to an expedient which was equally
ingenious and laughable. Close by his little shop in Shoe Lane there was
an undertaker, whose business, as might be inferred from the
neighbourhood, as well as from his personal appearance and the
homeliness of his shop, was exclusively among the lower and poorer
classes of the community. With him Mr. Cleave made an arrangement to
construct several coffins of the plainest and cheapest kind, for
purposes which were fully explained. The 'undertaker,' whose
ultra-republican principles were in perfect unison with those of Mr.
Cleave, not only heartily undertook the work, but did so on terms so
moderate that he would not ask for nor accept any profit. He, indeed,
could imagine no higher nor holier duty than that of assisting in the
dissemination of a paper which boldly and energetically preached the
extinction of the aristocracy and the perfect equality in social
position, and in property too, of all classes of the community.
Accordingly the coffins, with a rudeness in make and material which were
in perfect keeping with the purpose to which they were to be applied,
were got ready; and Mr. Cleave, in the dead of night, got them filled
with thousands of his _Gazettes_. It had been arranged beforehand that
particular houses in various parts of the town should be in readiness to
receive them with blinds down, as if some relative had been dead, and
was about to be borne away to the house appointed for all living. The
deal coffin was opened, and the contents were taken out, tied up in a
parcel so as to conceal from the prying curiosity of any chance person
that they were _Cleave's Police Gazettes_, and then sent off to the
railway stations most convenient for their transmission to the
provinces. The coffins after this were returned in the middle of next
night to the 'undertaker's' in Shoe Lane, there to be in readiness to
render a similar service to Mr. Cleave and the cause of red
Republicanism when the next _Gazette_ appeared."

[Illustration: OLD ST. DUNSTAN'S CHURCH (_see page 135_).]

"In this way Mr. Cleave contrived for some time to elude the vigilance
of the police and to sell about 50,000 copies weekly of each impression
of his paper. But the expedient, ingenious and eminently successful as
it was for a time, failed at last. The people in Shoe Lane and the
neighbourhood began to be surprised and alarmed at the number of
funerals, as they believed them to be, which the departure of so many
coffins from the 'undertaker's' necessarily implied. The very natural
conclusion to which they came was, that this supposed sudden and
extensive number of deaths could only be accounted for on the assumption
that some fatal epidemic had visited the neighbourhood, and there made
itself a local habitation. The parochial authorities, responding to the
prevailing alarm, questioned the 'undertaker' friend and fellow-labourer
of Mr. Cleave as to the causes of his sudden and extensive accession of
business in the coffin-making way; and the result of the close questions
put to him was the discovery of the whole affair. It need hardly be
added that an immediate and complete collapse took place in Mr.
Cleave's business, so far as his _Police Gazette_ was concerned. Not
another number of the publication ever made its appearance, while the
coffin-trade of the 'undertaker' all at once returned to its normal
proportions."

This stratagem of Cleave's was rivalled a few years ago by M. Herzen's
clever plan of sending great numbers of his treasonable and forbidden
paper, the _Kolokol_, to Russia, soldered up in sardine-boxes. No
Government, in fact, can ever baffle determined and ingenious smugglers.

One especially sad association attaches to Shoe Lane, and that is the
burial in the workhouse graveyard (the site of the late Farringdon
Market) of that unhappy child of genius, Chatterton the poet. In August,
1770, the poor lad, who had come from Bristol full of hope and ambition
to make his fortune in London by his pen, broken-hearted and maddened by
disappointment, destroyed himself in his mean garret-lodging in Brooke
Street, Holborn, by swallowing arsenic. Mr. John Dix, his very
unscrupulous biographer, has noted down a curious legend about the
possible removal of the poet's corpse from London to Bristol, which,
doubtful as it is, is at least interesting as a possibility:--

"I found," says Mr. Dix, "that Mrs. Stockwell, of Peter Street, wife of
Mr. Stockwell, a basket-maker, was the person who had communicated to
Sir R. Wilmot her grounds for believing Chatterton to have been so
interred; and on my requesting her to repeat to me what she knew of that
affair, she commenced by informing me that at ten years of age she was a
scholar of Mrs. Chatterton, his mother, where she was taught plain work,
and remained with her until she was near twenty years of age; that she
slept with her, and found her kind and motherly, insomuch that there
were many things which in moments of affliction Mrs. C. communicated to
her, that she would not have wished to have been generally known; and
among others, she often repeated how happy she was that her unfortunate
son lay buried in Redcliff, through the kind attention of a friend or
relation in London, who, after the body had been cased in a parish
shell, had it properly secured and sent to her by the waggon; that when
it arrived it was opened, and the corpse found to be black and half
putrid (having been burst with the motion of the carriage, or from some
other cause), so that it became necessary to inter it speedily; and that
it was early interred by Phillips, the sexton, who was of her family.
That the effect of the loss of her son was a nervous disorder, which
never quitted her, and she was often seen weeping at the bitter
remembrance of her misfortune. She described the poet as having been
sharp-tempered, but that it was soon over; and she often said he had
cost her many uneasy hours, from the apprehension she entertained of his
going mad, as he was accustomed to remain fixed for above an hour at a
time quite motionless, and then he would snatch up a pen and write
incessantly; but he was always, she added, affectionate....

"In addition to this, Mrs. Stockwell told the writer that the grave was
on the right-hand side of the lime-tree, middle paved walk, in Redcliff
Churchyard, about twenty feet from the father's grave, which is, she
says, in the paved walk, and where now Mrs. Chatterton and Mrs. Newton,
her daughter, also lie. Also, that Mrs. Chatterton gave a person leave
to bury his child over her son's coffin, and was much vexed to find that
he afterwards put the stone over it, which, when Chatterton was buried,
had been taken up for the purpose of digging the grave, and set against
the church-wall; that afterwards, when Mr. Hutchinson's or Mr. Taylor's
wife died, they buried her also in the same grave, and put this stone
over with a new inscription. (Query, did he erase the first, or turn the
stone?--as this might lead to a discovery of the spot.)....

"Being referred to Mrs. Jane Phillips, of Rolls Alley, Rolls Lane, Great
Gardens, Temple Parish (who is sister to that Richard Phillips who was
sexton at Redcliff Church in the year 1772), she informed me that his
widow and a daughter were living in Cathay; the widow is sexton, a Mr.
Perrin, of Colston's Parade, acting for her. She remembers Chatterton
having been at his father's school, and that he always called Richard
Phillips, her brother, 'uncle,' and was much liked by him. He liked him
for his spirit, and there can be no doubt he would have risked the
privately burying him on that account. When she heard he was gone to
London she was sorry to hear it, for all loved him, and thought he could
get no good there.

"Soon after his death her brother, R. Phillips, told her that poor
Chatterton had killed himself; on which she said she would go to Madame
Chatterton's, to know the rights of it; but that he forbade her, and
said, if she did so he should be sorry he had told her. She, however,
did go, and asking if it was true that he was dead, Mrs. Chatterton
began to weep bitterly, saying, 'My son indeed is dead!' and when she
asked her where he was buried, she replied, 'Ask me nothing; he is dead
and buried.'"

Poppin's Court (No. 109) marks the site of the ancient hostel (hotel) of
the Abbots of Cirencester--though what they did there, when they ought
to have been on their knees in their own far-away Gloucestershire
abbey, history does not choose to record. The sign of their inn was the
"Poppingaye" (popinjay, parrot), and in 1602 (last year of Elizabeth)
the alley was called Poppingay Alley. That excellent man Van Mildert
(then a poor curate, living in Ely Place, afterwards Bishop of Durham--a
prelate remarkable for this above all his many other Christian virtues,
that he was not proud) was once driven into this alley with a young
barrister friend by a noisy illumination-night crowd. The street boys
began firing a volley of squibs at the young curate, who found all hope
of escape barred, and dreaded the pickpockets, who take rapid advantage
of such temporary embarrassments; but his good-natured exclamation, "Ah!
here you are, popping away in Poppin's Court!" so pleased the crowd that
they at once laughingly opened a passage for him. "Sic me servavit,
Apollo," he used afterwards to add when telling the story.

FOOTNOTES:

[4] "This Scott lived in Pudding Lane, and had some time been a page (or
such-like) to the Lord Norris."

[5] "Davy Ramsay brought a half-quartern sack to put the treasure in."




CHAPTER XII.

FLEET STREET TRIBUTARIES SOUTH.

    Worthy Mr. Fisher--Lamb's Wednesday Evenings--Persons one would wish
    to have seen--Ram Alley--Serjeants' Inn--The _Daily News_--"Memory"
    Woodfall--A Mug-House Riot--Richardson's Printing Office--Fielding
    and Richardson--Johnson's Estimate of Richardson--Hogarth and
    Richardson's Guest--An Egotist Rebuked--The King's
    "Housewife"--Caleb Colton: his Life, Works, and Sentiments.


Falcon Court, Fleet Street, took its name from an inn which bore the
sign of the "Falcon." This passage formerly belonged to a gentleman
named Fisher, who, out of gratitude to the Cordwainers' Company,
bequeathed it to them by will. His gratitude is commonly said to have
arisen from the number of good dinners that the Company had given him.
However this may be, the Cordwainers are the present owners of the
estate, and are under the obligation of having a sermon preached
annually at the neighbouring church of St. Dunstan, on the 10th of July,
when certain sums are given to the poor. Formerly it was the custom to
drink sack in the church to the pious memory of Mr. Fisher, but this
appears to have been discontinued for a considerable period. This Fisher
was a jolly fellow, if all the tales are true which are related of him,
as, besides the sack drinking, he stipulated that the Cordwainers should
give a grand feast on the same day yearly to all their tenants. What a
quaint picture might be made of the churchwardens in the old church
drinking to the memory of Mr. Fisher! Wynkyn de Worde, the father of
printing in England, lived in Fleet Street, at his messuage or inn known
by the sign of the Falcon. Whether it was the inn that stood on the site
of Falcon Court is not known with certainty, but most probably it was.

Charles Lamb came to 16, Mitre Court Buildings in 1800, after leaving
Southampton Buildings, and remained in that quiet harbour out of Fleet
Street till 1809, when he removed to Inner Temple Lane.

It was whilst Lamb was residing in Mitre Court Buildings that those
Wednesday evenings of his were in their glory. In two of Mr. Hazlitt's
papers are graphic pictures of these delightful Wednesdays and the
Wednesday men, and admirable notes of several choice conversations.
There is a curious sketch in one of a little tilt between Coleridge and
Holcroft, which must not be omitted. "Coleridge was riding the high
German horse, and demonstrating the 'Categories of the Transcendental
Philosophy' to the author of _The Road to Ruin_, who insisted on his
knowledge of German and German metaphysics, having read the 'Critique of
Pure Reason' in the original. 'My dear Mr. Holcroft,' said Coleridge, in
a tone of infinitely provoking conciliation, 'you really put me in mind
of a sweet pretty German girl of about fifteen, in the Hartz Forest, in
Germany, and who one day, as I was reading "The Limits of the Knowable
and the Unknowable," the profoundest of all his works, with great
attention, came behind my chair, and leaning over, said, "What! you read
Kant? Why, I, that am a German born, don't understand him!"' This was
too much to bear, and Holcroft, starting up, called out, in no measured
tone, 'Mr. Coleridge, you are the most eloquent man I ever met with, and
the most troublesome with your eloquence.' Phillips held the
cribbage-peg, that was to mark him game, suspended in his hand, and the
whist-table was silent for a moment. I saw Holcroft downstairs, and on
coming to the landing-place in Mitre Court he stopped me to observe that
he thought Mr. Coleridge a very clever man, with a great command of
language, but that he feared he did not always affix very proper ideas
to the words he used. After he was gone we had our laugh out, and went
on with the argument on 'The Nature of Reason, the Imagination, and the
Will.' ... It would make a supplement to the 'Biographia Literaria,' in
a volume and a half, octavo."

It was at one of these Wednesdays that Lamb started his famous question
as to persons "one would wish to have seen." It was a suggestive topic,
and proved a fruitful one. Mr. Hazlitt, who was there, has left an
account behind him of the kind of talk which arose out of this hint, so
lightly thrown out by the author of "Elia," and it is worth giving in
his own words:--

"On the question being started, Ayrton said, 'I suppose the two first
persons you would choose to see would be the two greatest names in
English literature, Sir Isaac Newton and Locke?' In this Ayrton, as
usual, reckoned without his host. Everyone burst out a laughing at the
expression of Lamb's face, in which impatience was restrained by
courtesy. 'Y--yes, the greatest names,' he stammered out hastily; 'but
they were not persons--not persons.' 'Not persons?' said Ayrton, looking
wise and foolish at the same time, afraid his triumph might be
premature. 'That is,' rejoined Lamb, 'not characters, you know. By Mr.
Locke and Sir Isaac Newton you mean the "Essay on the Human
Understanding" and "Principia," which we have to this day. Beyond their
contents, there is nothing personally interesting in the men. But what
we want to see anyone _bodily_ for is when there is something peculiar,
striking in the individuals, more than we can learn from their writings
and yet are curious to know. I dare say Locke and Newton were very like
Kneller's portraits of them; but who could paint Shakespeare?' 'Ay,'
retorted Ayrton, 'there it is. Then I suppose you would prefer seeing
him and Milton instead?' 'No,' said Lamb, 'neither; I have seen so much
of Shakespeare on the stage.' ... 'I shall guess no more,' said Ayrton.
'Who is it, then, you would like to see "in his habit as he lived," if
you had your choice of the whole range of English literature?' Lamb then
named Sir Thomas Brown and Fulke Greville, the friend of Sir Philip
Sydney, as the two worthies whom he should feel the greatest pleasure to
encounter on the floor of his apartment in their night-gowns and
slippers, and to exchange friendly greeting with them. At this Ayrton
laughed outright, and conceived Lamb was jesting with him; but as no one
followed his example he thought there might be something in it, and
waited for an explanation in a state of whimsical suspense....

"When Lamb had given his explanation, some one inquired of him if he
could not see from the window the Temple walk in which Chaucer used to
take his exercise, and on his name being put to the vote I was pleased
to find there was a general sensation in his favour in all but Ayrton,
who said something about the ruggedness of the metre, and even objected
to the quaintness of the orthography....

"Captain Burney muttered something about Columbus, and Martin Burney
hinted at the Wandering Jew; but the last was set aside as spurious, and
the first made over to the New World.

"'I should like,' said Mr. Reynolds, 'to have seen Pope talking with
Patty Blount, and I _have_ seen Goldsmith.' Everyone turned round to
look at Mr. Reynolds, as if by so doing they too could get a sight of
Goldsmith....

"Erasmus Phillips, who was deep in a game of piquet at the other end of
the room, whispered to Martin Burney to ask if Junius would not be a fit
person to invoke from the dead. 'Yes,' said Lamb, 'provided he would
agree to lay aside his mask.'

"We were now at a stand for a short time, when Fielding was mentioned as
a candidate. Only one, however, seconded the proposition. 'Richardson?'
'By all means; but only to look at him through the glass-door of his
back-shop, hard at work upon one of his novels (the most extraordinary
contrast that ever was presented between an author and his works), but
not to let him come behind his counter, lest he should want you to turn
customer; nor to go upstairs with him, lest he should offer to read the
first manuscript of "Sir Charles Grandison," which was originally
written in twenty-eight volumes octavo; or get out the letters of his
female correspondents to prove that "Joseph Andrews" was low.'

"There was but one statesman in the whole of English history that any
one expressed the least desire to see--Oliver Cromwell, with his fine,
frank, rough, pimply face and wily policy--and one enthusiast, John
Bunyan, the immortal author of 'The Pilgrim's Progress.'....

"Of all persons near our own time, Garrick's name was received with the
greatest enthusiasm. He presently superseded both Hogarth and Handel,
who had been talked of, but then it was on condition that he should sit
in tragedy and comedy, in the play and the farce,--Lear and Wildair, and
Abel Drugger....

"Lamb inquired if there was any one that was hanged that I would choose
to mention, and I answered, 'Eugene Aram.'"

The present Hare Place was the once disreputable Ram Alley, the scene of
a comedy of that name, written by Lodowick Barry and dramatised in the
reign of James I.; the plot Killigrew afterwards used in his vulgar
_Parson's Wedding_. Barry, an Irishman, of whom nothing much is known,
makes one of his roystering characters say,--

    "And rough Ram Alley stinks with cooks' shops vile;
    Yet, stay, there's many a worthy lawyer's chamber
    'Buts upon Ram Alley."

As a precinct of Whitefriars, Ram Alley enjoyed the mischievous
privilege of sanctuary for murderers, thieves, and debtors--indeed, any
class of rascals except traitors--till the fifteenth century. After this
it sheltered only debtors. Barry speaks of its cooks, salesmen, and
laundresses; and Shadwell classes it (Charles II.) with Pye Corner, as
the resort of "rascally stuff." Lord Clarendon, in his autobiography,
describes the Great Fire as burning on the Thames side as far as the
"new buildings of the Inner Temple next to Whitefriars," striking next
on some of the buildings which joined to Ram Alley, and sweeping all
those into Fleet Street. In the reign of George I. Ram Alley was full of
public-houses, and was a place of no reputation, having passages into
the Temple and Serjeants' Inn. "A kind of privileged place for debtors,"
adds Hatton, "before the late Act of Parliament (9 & 10 William III. c.
17, s. 15) for taking them away." This useful Act swept out all the
London sanctuaries, those vicious relics of monastic rights, including
Mitre Court, Salisbury Court (Fleet Street), the Savoy, Fulwood Rents
(Holborn), Baldwin's Gardens (Gray's Inn Lane), the Minories, Deadman's
Place, Montague Close (Southwark), the Clink, and the Mint in the same
locality. The Savoy and the Mint, however, remained disreputable a
generation or two later.

Serjeants' Inn, Fleet Street, now deserted by the faithless Serjeants,
is supposed to have been given to the Dean and Chapter of York in 1409
(Henry IV.) It then consisted of shops, &c. In 1627 (Charles I.) the inn
began its legal career by being leased for forty years to nine judges
and fifteen serjeants. In this hall, in 1629, the judges in full bench
struck a sturdy blow at feudal privileges by agreeing that peers might
be attached upon process for contempt out of Chancery. In 1723 (George
I.) the inn was highly aristocratic, its inmates being the Lord Chief
Justice, the Lord Chief Baron, justices, and Serjeants. In 1730,
however, the fickle serjeants removed to Chancery Lane, and Adam, the
architect of the Adelphi, designed the present nineteen houses and the
present street frontage. On the site of the hall arose the Amicable
Assurance Society, which in 1865 transferred its business to the
Economic, and the house is now the Norwich Union Office. The inn is a
parish in itself, making its own assessment, and contributing to the
City rates. Its pavement, which had been part of the stone-work of Old
St. Paul's, was not replaced till 1860. The conservative old inn
retained its old oil lamps long after the introduction of gas.

The arms of Serjeants' Inn, worked into the iron gate opening on Fleet
Street, are a dove and a serpent, the serpent twisted into a kind of
true lover's knot. The lawyers of Serjeants' Inn, no doubt, unite the
wisdom of the serpent with the guilelessness of the dove. Singularly
enough Dr. Dodd, the popular preacher, who was hanged, bore arms nearly
similar.

Half way down Bouverie Street, in the centre of old Whitefriars, is the
office of the _Daily News_. The first number of this popular and
influential paper appeared on January 21, 1846. The publishers, and part
proprietors, were Messrs. Bradbury & Evans, the printers; the editor was
Charles Dickens; the manager was Dickens's father, Mr. John Dickens; the
second, or assistant, editor, Douglas Jerrold; and among the other
"leader" writers were Albany Fonblanque and John Forster, both of the
_Examiner_. "Father Prout" (Mahoney) acted as Roman correspondent. The
musical critic was the late Mr. George Hogarth, Dickens's father-in-law;
and the new journal had an "Irish Famine Commissioner" in the person of
Mr. R.H. Horne, the poet. Miss Martineau wrote leading articles in the
new paper for several years, and Mr. M'Cullagh Torrens was also a
recognised contributor. The staff of Parliamentary reporters was said to
be the best in London, several having been taken, at an advanced salary,
off the _Times_.

"The speculative proprietorship," says Mr. Grant, in his "History of the
Newspaper Press," "was divided into one hundred shares, some of which
were held by Sir William Jackson, M.P., Sir Joshua Watkins, and the late
Sir Joseph Paxton. Mr. Charles Dickens, as editor, received a salary of
£2,000 a year."

[Illustration: THE DORSET GARDENS THEATRE, WHITEFRIARS (_see page
140_).]

The early numbers of the paper contained instalments of Dickens's
"Pictures from Italy;" yet the new venture did not succeed. Charles
Dickens and Douglas Jerrold took the night-work on alternate days; but
Dickens, who never made politics a special study, very soon retired from
the editorship altogether, and Jerrold was chief editor for a little
while till he left to set up his _Weekly Newspaper_. Mr. Forster also
had the editorship for a short period, and the paper then fell into the
hands of the late Mr. Dilke, of the _Athenæum_, who excited some
curiosity by extensively advertising these words: "See the _Daily News_
of June 1st." The _Daily News_ of June 1, 1846 (which began No. 1
again), was a paper of four pages, issued at 2-1/2_d._, which, deducting
the stamp, at that time affixed to every copy of every newspaper, was
in effect three halfpence. One of the features of the new plan was that
the sheet should vary in size, according to the requirements of the
day--with an eye, nevertheless, at all times to selection and
condensation. It was a bold attempt, carried out with great intelligence
and spirit; but it was soon found necessary to put on another halfpenny,
and in a year or two the _Daily News_ was obliged to return to the usual
price of "dailies" at that time--fivepence. The chief editors of the
paper, besides those already mentioned, have been Mr. Eyre Evans Crowe,
Mr. Frederick Knight Hunt, Mr. Weir, and Mr. Thomas Walker, who retired
in January, 1870, on receiving the editorship of the _London Gazette_.
The journal came down to a penny in June, 1868.

[Illustration: ATTACK ON A WHIG MUG HOUSE (_see page 142_)]

The _Daily News_, at the beginning, inspired the _Times_ with some dread
of rivalry; and it is noteworthy that, for several years afterwards, the
great journal was very unfriendly in its criticisms on Dickens's books.

There is no doubt that, over sanguine of success, the _Daily News_
proprietors began by sinking too much money in the foundations. In 1846,
the _Times'_ reporters received on an average only five guineas a week,
while the _Daily News_ gave seven; but the pay was soon of necessity
reduced. Mr. Grant computes the losses of the _Daily News_ for the first
ten years at not much less than £200,000. The talent and enterprise of
this paper, during the recent (1870) German invasion of France, and the
excellence of their correspondents in either camp, is said to have
trebled its circulation, which Mr. Grant computes at a daily issue of
90,000. As an organ of the highest and most enlightened form of
Liberalism and progress, the _Daily News_ now stands pre-eminent.

Many actors, poets, and authors dwelt in Salisbury Court in Charles
II.'s time, and the great Betterton, Underhill, and Sandford affected
this neighbourhood, to be near the theatres. Lady Davenant here presided
over the Dorset Gardens Company; Shadwell, "round as a butt and liquored
every chink," nightly reeled home to the same precinct, unsteadily
following the guidance of a will-o'-the-wisp link-boy; and in the square
lived and died Sir John King, the Duke of York's solicitor-general.

If Salisbury Square boasts of Richardson, the respectable citizen and
admirable novelist, it must also plead guilty to having been the
residence of that not very reputable personage, Mr. John Eyre, who,
although worth, as it was said, some £20,000, was transported on
November 1, 1771 (George III.) for systematic pilfering of paper from
the alderman's chamber, in the justice room, Guildhall. This man, led
away by the thirst for money, had an uncle who made two wills, one
leaving Eyre all his money, except a legacy of £500 to a clergyman;
another leaving the bulk to the clergyman, and £500 only to his nephew.
Eyre, not knowing of the second will, destroyed the first, in order to
cancel the vexatious bequest. When the real will was produced his
disappointment and selfish remorse must have produced an expression of
repressed rage worthy of Hogarth's pencil.

In Salisbury Square Mr. Clarke's disagreeable confessions about the Duke
of York were publicly burned, on the very spot (says Mr. Noble) where
the zealous radical demagogue, Waithman, subsequently addressed the
people from a temporary platform, not being able to obtain the use of
St. Bride's Vestry. Nor must we forget to chronicle No. 53 as the house
of Tatum, a silversmith, to whom, in 1812, that eminent man John Faraday
acted as humble friend and assistant. How often does young genius act
the herdsman, as Apollo did when he tended the kine of Admetus!

The Woodfalls, too, in their time, lent celebrity to Salisbury Square.
The first Woodfall who became eminent was Henry Woodfall, at the
"Elzevir's Head" at Temple Bar. He commenced business under the auspices
of Pope. His son Henry, who rose to be a Common Councilman and Master of
the Stationers' Company, bought of Theophilus Cibber, in 1736-37,
one-third of a tenth share of the London _Daily Post_, an organ which
gradually grew into the _Public Advertiser_, that daring paper in which
the celebrated letters of Junius first appeared. Those letters, scathing
and full of Greek fire, brought down Lords and Commons, King's Bench and
Old Bailey, on Woodfall, and he was fined and imprisoned. Whether Burke,
Barré, Chatham, Horne Tooke, or Sir Philip Francis wrote them, will now
probably never be known. The stern writer in the iron mask went down
into the grave shrouded in his own mystery, and that grave no
inquisitive eyes will ever find. "I am the sole depository of my
secret," he wrote, "and it shall perish with me." The Junius Woodfall
died in 1805. William Woodfall, the younger brother, was born in 1745,
and educated at St. Paul's School. He was editor and printer of the
_Morning Chronicle_, and in 1790 had his office in Dorset Street,
Salisbury Square (Noble). "Memory" Woodfall, as William was generally
called, acquired fame by his extraordinary power of reporting from
memory the speeches he heard in the House of Commons. His practice
during a debate (says his friend Mr. Taylor, of the _Sun_) was to close
his eyes and lean with both hands upon his stick. He was so well
acquainted with the tone and manner of the several speakers that he
seldom changed his attitude but to catch the name of a new member. His
memory was as accurate as it was capacious, and, what was almost
miraculous, he could retain full recollection of any particular debate
for a full fortnight, and after many long nights of speaking. Woodfall
used to say he could put a speech away on a corner shelf of his mind for
future reference. This is an instance of power of memory scarcely
equalled by Fuller, who, it is said, could repeat the names of all the
shops down the Strand (at a time every shop had a sign) in regular and
correct sequence; and it even surpasses "Memory" Thompson, who used to
boast he could remember every shop from Ludgate Hill to the end of
Piccadilly. Yet, with all his sensitively retentive memory, Woodfall did
not care for slight interruptions during his writing. Dr. Johnson used
to write abridged reports of debates for the _Gentleman's Magazine_ from
memory, but, then, reports at that time were short and trivial. Woodfall
was also a most excellent dramatic critic--slow to censure, yet never
sparing just rebuke. At the theatre his extreme attention gave his
countenance a look of gloom and severity. Mr. J. Taylor, of the _Sun_,
describes Kemble as watching Woodfall in one of those serious moods, and
saying to a friend, "How applicable to that man is the passage in
_Hamlet_,--'thoughts black, hands apt.'"

Finding himself hampered on the _Morning Chronicle_, Woodfall started a
new daily paper, with the title of the _Diary_, but eventually he was
overpowered by his competitors and their large staff of reporters. His
eldest son, who displayed great abilities, went mad. Mr. Woodfall's
hospitable parties at his house at Kentish Town are sketched for us by
Mr. J. Taylor. On one particular occasion he mentions meeting Mr.
Tickel, Richardson (a partner in "The Rolliad"), John Kemble, Perry (of
the _Chronicle_), Dr. Glover (a humorist of the day), and John Coust.
Kemble and Perry fell out over their wine, and Perry was rude to the
stately tragedian. Kemble, eyeing him with the scorn of Coriolanus,
exclaimed, in the words of Zanga,--

    "A lion preys not upon carcases."

Perry very naturally effervesced at this, and war would have been
instantly proclaimed between the belligerents had not Coust and
Richardson promptly interposed. The warlike powers were carefully sent
home in separate vehicles.

Mr. Woodfall had a high sense of the importance of a Parliamentary
reporter's duties, and once, during a heavy week, when his eldest son
came to town to assist him, he said, "And Charles Fox to have a debate
on a Saturday! What! does he think that reporters are made of iron?"
Woodfall used to tell a characteristic story of Dr. Dodd. When that
miserable man was in Newgate waiting sentence of death he sent earnestly
for the editor of the _Morning Chronicle_. Woodfall, a kind and
unselfish man, instantly hurried off, expecting that Dodd wished his
serious advice. In the midst of Woodfall's condolement he was stopped by
the Doctor, who said he had wished to see him on quite a different
subject. Knowing Woodfall's judgment in dramatic matters, he was anxious
to have his opinion on a comedy which he had written, and to request
his interest with a manager to bring it on the stage. Woodfall was the
more surprised and shocked as on entering Newgate he had been informed
by Ackerman, the keeper of Newgate, that the order for Dr. Dodd's
execution had just arrived.

Before parting with the Woodfall family, we may mention that it is quite
certain that Henry Sampson Woodfall did not know who the author of
"Junius" was. Long after the letters appeared he used to say,--"I hope
and trust Junius is not dead, as I think he would have left me a legacy;
for though I derived much honour from his preference, I suffered much by
the freedom of his pen."

The grandson of William, Henry Dick Woodfall, died in Nice, April 13,
1869, aged sixty-nine, carrying to the grave (says Mr. Noble) the last
chance of discovering one of the best kept secrets ever known.

The Whig "mug-house" of Salisbury Court deserves notice. The death of
Queen Anne (1714) roused the hopes of the Jacobites. The rebellion of
1715 proved how bitterly they felt the peaceful accession of the Elector
of Hanover. The northern revolt convinced them of their strength, but
its failure taught them no lesson. They attributed its want of success
to the rashness of the leaders and the absence of unanimity in their
followers, to the outbreak not being simultaneous; to every cause,
indeed, but the right one. It was about this time that the Whig
gentlemen of London, to unite their party and to organise places of
gathering, established "mug-houses" in various parts of the City. At
these places, "free-and-easy" clubs were held, where Whig citizens could
take their mug of ale, drink loyal toasts, sing loyal songs, and arrange
party processions. These assemblies, not always very just or forbearing,
soon led to violent retaliations on the part of the Tories, attacks were
made on several of the mug-houses, and dangerous riots naturally ensued.
From the papers of the time we learn that the Tories wore white roses,
or rue, thyme, and rosemary in their hats, flourished oak branches and
green ribbons, and shouted "High Church;" "Ormond for ever;" "No King
George;" "Down with the Presbyterians;" "Down with the mug-houses." The
Whigs, on the other side, roared "King George for ever," displayed
orange cockades, with the motto,--

    "With heart and hand
    By George we'll stand,"

and did their best on royal birthdays and other thanksgivings, by
illuminations and blazing bonfires outside the mug-house doors, to
irritate their adversaries and drive them to acts of illegal violence.
The chief Whig mug-houses were in Long Acre, Cheapside, St. John's Lane
(Clerkenwell), Tower Street, and Salisbury Court.

Mackey, a traveller, who wrote "A Journey through England" about this
time, describes the mug-houses very lucidly:--

"The most amusing and diverting of all," he says, "is the 'Mug-House
Club,' in Long Acre, where every Wednesday and Saturday a mixture of
gentlemen, lawyers, and tradesmen meet in a great room, and are seldom
under a hundred. They have a grave old gentleman in his own grey hairs,
now within a few months of ninety years old, who is their president, and
sits in an armed-chair some steps higher than the rest of the company,
to keep the whole room in order. A harp always plays all the time at the
lower end of the room, and every now and then one or other of the
company rises and entertains the rest with a song; and, by-the-by, some
are good masters. Here is nothing drank but ale; and every gentleman
hath his separate mug, which he chalks on the table where he sits as it
is brought in, and everyone retires when he pleases, as in a
coffee-house. The room is always so diverted with songs, and drinking
from one table to another to one another's healths, that there is no
room for politics, or anything that can sour conversation. One must be
up by seven to get room, and after ten the company are, for the most
part, gone. This is a winter's amusement that is agreeable enough to a
stranger for once or twice, and he is well diverted with the different
humours when the mugs overflow."

An attack on a Whig mug-house, the "Roebuck," in Cheapside, June, 1716,
was followed by a still more stormy assault on the Salisbury Court
mug-house in July of the same year. The riot began on a Friday, but the
Whigs kept a resolute face, and the mob dwindled away. On the Monday
they renewed the attack, declaring that the Whigs were drinking "Down
with the Church," and reviling the memory of Queen Anne; and they swore
they would level the house and make a bonfire of the timber in the
middle of Fleet Street. But the wily Whigs, barricading the door,
slipped out a messenger at a back door, and sent to a mug-house in
Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, for reinforcements. Presently a band of
Whig bludgeon-men arrived, and the Whigs of Salisbury Court then
snatched up pokers, tongs, pitchforks, and legs of stools, and sallied
out on the Tory mob, who soon fled before them. For two days the Tory
mob seethed, fretted, and swore revenge. But the report of a squadron
of horse being drawn up at Whitehall ready to ride down on the City
kept them gloomily quiet. On the third day a Jacobite, named Vaughan,
formerly a Bridewell boy, led them on to revenge; and on Tuesday they
stormed the place in earnest. "The best of the Tory mob," says a Whig
paper of the day, "were High Church scaramouches, chimney-sweeps,
hackney coachmen, foot-boys, tinkers, shoe-blacks, street idlers, ballad
singers, and strumpets." The contemporaneous account will most vividly
describe the scene.

The _Weekly Journal_ (a Whig paper) of July 28, 1716, says: "The Papists
and Jacobites, in pursuance of their rebellious designs, assembled a mob
on Friday night last, and threatened to attack Mr. Read's mug-house in
Salisbury Court, in Fleet Street; but, seeing the loyal gentlemen that
were there were resolved to defend themselves, the cowardly Papists and
Jacobites desisted for that time. But on Monday night the villains
meeting together again in a most rebellious manner, they began first to
attack Mr. Goslin's house, at the sign of the 'Blew Boar's Head,' near
Water Lane, in Fleet Street, breaking the windows thereof, for no other
reason but because he is well-affected to his Majesty King George and
the present Government. Afterwards they went to the above-said mug-house
in Salisbury Court; but the cowardly Jacks not being able to accomplish
their hellish designs that night, they assembled next day in great
numbers from all parts of the town, breaking the windows with
brick-bats, broke open the cellar, got into the lower rooms, which they
robb'd, and pull'd down the sign, which was carried in triumph before
the mob by one Thomas Bean, servant to Mr. Carnegie and Mr. Cassey, two
rebels under sentence of death, and for which he is committed to
Newgate, as well as several others, particularly one Hook, a joyner, in
Blackfriars, who is charged with acting a part in gutting the mug-house.
Some of the rioters were desperately wounded, and one Vaughan, a
seditious weaver, formerly an apprentice in Bridewell, and since
employed there, who was a notorious ringleader of mobs, was kill'd at
the aforesaid mug-house. Many notorious Papists were seen to abet and
assist in this villanous rabble, as were others, who call themselves
Churchmen, and are like to meet with a suitable reward in due time for
their assaulting gentlemen who meet at these mug-houses only to drink
prosperity to the Church of England as by law established, the King's
health, the Prince of Wales's, and the rest of the Royal Family, and
those of his faithful and loyal Ministers. But it is farther to be
observed that women of mean, scandalous lives, do frequently point,
hiss, and cry out 'Whigs' upon his Majesty's good and loyal subjects, by
which, raising a mob, they are often insulted by them. But 'tis hoped
the magistrates will take such methods which may prevent the like
insults for the future.

"Thursday last the coroner's inquest sat on the body of the person
killed in Salisbury Court, who were for bringing in their verdict,
wilful murder against Mr. Read, the man of the mug-house; but some of
the jury stick out, and will not agree with that verdict; so that the
matter is deferr'd till Monday next."

"On Tuesday last," says the same paper (August 4, 1716), "a petition,
signed by some of the inhabitants of Salisbury Court, was deliver'd to
the Court of Aldermen, setting forth some late riots occasioned by the
meeting of some persons at the mug-house there. The petition was
referr'd to, and a hearing appointed the same day before the Lord Mayor.
The witnesses on the side of the petition were a butcher woman, a
barber's 'prentice, and two or three other inferior people. These swore,
in substance--that the day the man was killed there, they saw a great
many people gathered together about the mug-house, throwing stones and
dirt, &c.; that about twelve o'clock they saw Mr. Read come out with a
gun, and shoot a man who was before the mob at some distance, and had no
stick in his hand. Those who were call'd in Mr. Read's behalf depos'd
that a very great mob attacked the house, crying, 'High Church and
Ormond; No Hanover; No King George;' that then the constable read the
Proclamation, charging them to disperse, but they still continued to
cry, 'Down with the mug-house;' that two soldiers then issued out of the
house, and drove the mob into Fleet Street; but by throwing sticks and
stones, they drove these two back to the house, and the person shot
returned at the head of the mob with a stick in his hand flourishing,
and crying, 'No Hanover; No King George;' and 'Down with the mug-house.'
That then Mr. Read desired them to disperse, or he would shoot amongst
them, and the deceased making at him, he shot him and retired indoors;
that then the mob forced into the house, rifled all below stairs, took
the money out of the till, let the beer about the cellar, and what goods
they could not carry away, they brought into the streets and broke to
pieces; that they would have forced their way up stairs and murdered all
in the house, but that a person who lodged in the house made a barricade
at the stair-head, where he defended himself above half an hour against
all the mob, wounded some of them, and compelled them to give over the
assault. There were several very credible witnesses to these
circumstances, and many more were ready to have confirmed it, but the
Lord Mayor thought sufficient had been said, and the following
gentlemen, who are men of undoubted reputation and worth, offering to be
bail for Mr. Read, namely, Mr. Johnson, a justice of the peace, and
Colonels Coote and Westall, they were accepted, and accordingly entered
into a recognisance."

Five of the rioters were eventually hung at Tyburn Turnpike, in the
presence of a vast crowd. According to Mr. J.T. Smith, in his "Streets
of London," a Whig mug-house existed as early as 1694. It has been said
the slang word "mug" owes its derivation to Lord Shaftesbury's "ugly
mug," which the beer cups were moulded to resemble.

In the _Flying Post_ of June 30, 1716, we find a doggerel old mug-house
ballad, which is so characteristic of the violence of the times that it
is worth preserving:--

    "Since the Tories could not fight,
      And their master took his flight,
    They labour to keep up their faction;
      With a bough and a stick,
      And a stone and a brick,
    They equip their roaring crew for action.

    "Thus in battle array
      At the close of the day,
    After wisely debating their deep plot,
      Upon windows and stall,
      They courageously fall,
    And boast a great victory they have got.

    "But, alas! silly boys,
      For all the mighty noise,
    Of their 'High Church and Ormond for ever,'
      A brave Whig with one hand,
      At George's command,
    Can make their mightiest hero to quiver."

Richardson's printing office was at the north-west corner of Salisbury
Square, communicating with the court, No. 76, Fleet Street. Here the
thoughtful old citizen wrote "Pamela," and here, in 1756, Oliver
Goldsmith acted as his "reader." Richardson seems to have been an
amiable and benevolent man, kind to his compositors and servants and
beloved by children. All the anecdotes relating to his private life are
pleasant. He used to encourage early rising among his workmen by hiding
half crowns among the disordered type, so that the earliest comer might
find his virtue rewarded; and he would frequently bring up fruit from
the country to give to those of his servants who had been zealous and
good-tempered.

[Illustration: FLEET STREET, THE TEMPLE, ETC., FROM A PLAN PUBLISHED BY
RALPH AGGAS, 1563.]

Samuel Richardson, the author of "Pamela" and "Clarissa," was the son of
a Derbyshire joiner. He was born in 1689, and died in 1761. Apprenticed
to a London printer, he rose by steady industry and prudence to be the
manager of a large business, printer of the Journals of the House of
Commons, Master of the Stationers' Company, and part-printer to the
king. In 1741, at the age of fifty-two, publishers urging the thriving
citizen to write them a book of moral letters, Richardson produced
"Pamela," a novel which ran through five editions the first year, and
became the rage of the town. Ladies carried the precious volumes to
Ranelagh, and held them up in smiling triumph to each other. Pope
praised the novel as more useful than twenty volumes of sermons, and Dr.
Sherlock gravely recommended it from the pulpit. In 1749 Richardson
wrote "Clarissa Harlowe," his most perfect work, and in 1753 his
somewhat tedious "Sir Charles Grandison" (7 vols.). In "Pamela" he drew
a servant, whom her master attempts to seduce and eventually marries,
but in "Clarissa" the heroine, after harrowing misfortunes, dies
unrewarded. Richardson had always a moral end in view. He hated vice and
honoured virtue, but he is too often prolix and wearisome. He wished to
write novels that should wean the young from the foolish romances of
his day. In "Pamela" he rewarded struggling virtue; in "Clarissa" he
painted the cruel selfishness of vice; in "Sir Charles" he tried to
represent the perfect Christian gentleman. Coleridge said that to read
Fielding after Richardson was like emerging from a sick room, heated by
stoves into an open lawn on a breezy May morning. Richardson, indeed,
wrote more for women than men. Fielding was coarser, but more manly; he
had humour, but no moral purpose at all. The natural result was that
Fielding and his set looked on Richardson as a grave, dull, respectable
old prig; Richardson on Fielding as a low rake, who wrote like a man who
had been an ostler born in a stable, or a runner in a sponging-house.
"The virtues of Fielding's heroes," the vain old printer used to say to
his feminine clique, "are the vices of a truly good man."

Dr. Johnson, who had been befriended by Richardson, was never tired of
depreciating Fielding and crying up the author of "Pamela." "Sir," he
used to thunder out, "there is as much difference between the two as
between a man who knows how a watch is made and a man who can merely
tell the hour on the dial-plate." He called Fielding a "barren rascal."
"Sir, there is more knowledge of the heart in one letter of Richardson's
than in all 'Tom Jones.'" Some one present here mildly suggested that
Richardson was very tedious. "Why, sir," replied Johnson, "if you were
to read Richardson for the story, your impatience would be so great that
you would hang yourself. But you must read him for the sentiment, and
consider the story as only giving occasion to the sentiment." After all,
it must be considered that, old-fashioned as Richardson's novels have
now become, the old printer dissected the human heart with profound
knowledge and exquisite care, and that in the back shop in Salisbury
Court, amid the jar of printing-presses, the quiet old citizen drew his
ideal beings with far subtler lines and touches than any previous
novelist had done.

[Illustration: FLEET STREET, THE TEMPLE, ETC., FROM A MAP OF LONDON,
PUBLISHED 1720.]

On one occasion at least Hogarth and Johnson met at Richardson's house.

"Mr. Hogarth," says Nichols, "came one day to see Richardson, soon after
the execution of Dr. Cameron, for having taken arms for the house of
Stuart in 1745-46; and, being a warm partisan of George II., he
observed to Richardson that certainly there must have been some very
unfavourable circumstances lately discovered in this particular case
which had induced the king to approve of an execution for rebellion so
long after the time it was committed, as this had the appearance of
putting a man to death in cold blood, and was very unlike his majesty's
usual clemency. While he was talking he perceived a person standing at a
window in the room shaking his head and rolling himself about in a
ridiculous manner. He concluded he was an idiot, whom his relations had
put under the care of Mr. Richardson as a very good man. To his great
surprise, however, this figure stalked forward to where he and Mr.
Richardson were sitting, and all at once took up the argument, and burst
out into an invective against George II., as one who, upon all
occasions, was unrelenting and barbarous; mentioning many instances,
particularly that, where an officer of high rank had been acquitted by a
court martial, George II. had, with his own hand, struck his name off
the list. In short, he displayed such a power of eloquence that Hogarth
looked at him in astonishment, and actually imagined that this idiot had
been at the moment inspired. Neither Johnson nor Hogarth were made known
to each other at this interview."

Boswell tells a good story of a rebuke that Richardson's amiable but
inordinate egotism on one occasion received, much to Johnson's secret
delight, which is certainly worth quoting before we dismiss the old
printer altogether. "One day," says Boswell, "at his country house at
Northend, where a large company was assembled at dinner, a gentleman who
was just returned from Paris, wishing to please Richardson, mentioned to
him a flattering circumstance, that he had seen his 'Clarissa' lying on
the king's brother's table. Richardson observing that part of the
company were engaged in talking to each other, affected then not to
attend to it; but by and bye, when, there was a general silence, and he
thought that the flattery might be fully heard, he addressed himself to
the gentleman: 'I think, sir, you were saying somewhat about'--pausing
in a high flutter of expectation. The gentleman provoked at his
inordinate vanity resolved not to indulge it, and with an exquisitely
sly air of indifference answered, 'A mere trifle, sir; not worth
repeating.' The mortification of Richardson was visible, and he did not
speak ten words more the whole day. Dr. Johnson was present, and
appeared to enjoy it much."

At one corner of Salisbury Square (says Mr. Timbs) are the premises of
Peacock, Bampton, & Mansfield, the famous pocket-book makers, whose
"Polite Repository" for 1778 is "the patriarch of all pocket-books." Its
picturesque engravings have never been surpassed, and their morocco and
russia bindings scarcely equalled. In our time Queen Adelaide and her
several maids of honour used the "Repository." George IV. was provided
by the firm with a ten-guinea housewife (an antique-looking pocket-book,
with gold-mounted scissors, tweezers, &c.); and Mr. Mansfield relates
that on one occasion the king took his housewife from his pocket and
handed it round the table to his guests, and next day the firm received
orders for twenty-five, "just like the king's."

In St. Bride's Passage, westward (says Mr. Timbs), was a large
dining-house, where, some forty years ago, Colton, the author, used to
dine, and publicly boast that he wrote the whole of his "Lacon; or, Many
Things in Few Words," upon a small rickety deal table, with one pen.
Another frequenter of this place was one Webb, who seems to have been so
well up in the topics of the day that he was a sort of walking
newspaper, who was much with the King and Queen of the Sandwich Islands
when they visited England in 1825.

This Caleb Colton, mentioned by Mr. Timbs, was that most degraded being,
a disreputable clergyman, with all the vices but little of the genius of
Churchill, and had been, in his flourishing time, vicar of Kew and
Petersham. He was educated at Eton, and eventually became Fellow of
King's College, Cambridge. He wrote "A Plain and Authentic Narrative of
the Stamford Ghost," "Remarks on the Tendencies of 'Don Juan,'" a poem
on Napoleon, and a satire entitled "Hypocrisy." His best known work,
however, was "Lacon; or, Many Things in Few Words," published in 1820.
These aphorisms want the terse brevity of Rochefoucauld, and are in many
instances vapid and trivial. A passion for gaming at last swallowed up
Colton's other vices, and becoming involved, he cut the Gordian knot of
debt in 1828 by absconding; his living was then seized and given to
another. He fled to America, and from there returned to that syren city,
Paris, where he is said in two years to have won no less than £25,000.
The miserable man died by his own hand at Fontainebleau, in 1832. In the
"Lacon" is the subjoined passage, that seems almost prophetic of the
miserable author's miserable fate:--

"The gamester, if he die a martyr to his profession, is doubly ruined.
He adds his soul to every loss, and by the act of suicide renounces
earth to forfeit heaven.".... "Anguish of mind has driven thousands to
suicide, anguish of body none. This proves that the health of the mind
is of far more consequence to our happiness than the health of the body,
although both are deserving of much more attention than either of them
receive."

And here is a fine sentiment, worthy of Dr. Dodd himself:--

"There is but one pursuit in life which it is in the power of all to
follow and of all to attain. It is subject to no disappointments, since
he that perseveres makes every difficulty an advancement and every
contest a victory--and this the pursuit of virtue. Sincerely to aspire
after virtue is to gain her, and zealously to labour after her wages is
to receive them. Those that seek her early will find her before it is
late; her reward also is with her, and she will come quickly. For the
breast of a good man is a little heaven commencing on earth, where the
Deity sits enthroned with unrivalled influence, every subjugated
passion, 'like the wind and storm, fulfilling his word.'"




CHAPTER XIII.

THE TEMPLE.--GENERAL INTRODUCTION.

    Origin of the Order of Templars--First Home of the Order--Removal to
    the Banks of the Thames--Rules of the Order--The Templars at the
    Crusades, and their Deeds of Valour--Decay and Corruption of the
    Order--Charges brought against the Knights--Abolition of the Order.


The Order of Knights Templars, established by Baldwin, King of
Jerusalem, in 1118, to protect Christian pilgrims on their road to
Jerusalem, first found a home in England in 1128 (Henry I.), when Hugh
de Payens, the first Master of the Order, visited our shores to obtain
succours and subsidies against the Infidel.

The proud, and at first zealous, brotherhood originally settled on the
south side of Holborn, without the Bars. Indeed, about a century and a
half ago, part of a round chapel, built of Caen stone, was found under
the foundation of some old houses at the Holborn end of Southampton
Buildings. In time, however, the Order amassed riches, and, growing
ambitious, purchased a large space of ground extending from Fleet Street
to the river, and from Whitefriars to Essex House in the Strand. The new
Temple was a vast monastery, fitted for the residence of the prior, his
chaplain, serving brethren and knights; and it boasted a
council-chamber, a refectory, a barrack, a church, a range of cloisters,
and a river terrace for religious meditation, military exercise, and the
training of chargers. In 1185 Heraclius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, who
had come to England with the Masters of the Temple and the Hospital to
procure help from Henry II. against the victorious Saladin, consecrated
the beautiful river-side church, which the proud Order had dedicated to
the Virgin Lady Mary. The late Master of the Temple had only recently
died in a dungeon at Damascus, and the new Master of the Hospital, after
the great defeat of the Christians at Jacob's Ford, on the Jordan, had
swam the river covered with wounds, and escaped to the Castle of
Beaufort.

The singular rules of the "Order of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Jesus
Christ and of the Temple of Solomon," were revised by the first Abbot of
Clairvaux, St. Bernard himself. Extremely austere and earnest, they were
divided into seventy-two heads, and enjoined severe and constant
devotional exercises, self-mortification, fasting, prayer, and regular
attendance at matins, vespers, and all the services of the Church.
Dining in one common refectory, the Templars were to make known wants
that could not be expressed by signs, in a gentle, soft, and private
way. Two and two were in general to live together, so that one might
watch the other. After departing from the supper hall to bed it was not
permitted them to speak again in public, except upon urgent necessity,
and then only in an undertone. All scurrility, jests, and idle words
were to be avoided; and after any foolish saying, the repetition of the
Lord's Prayer was enjoined. All professed knights were to wear white
garments, both in summer and winter, as emblems of chastity. The
esquires and retainers were required to wear black or, in provinces
where that coloured cloth could not be procured, brown. No gold or
silver was to be used in bridles, breastplates, or spears, and if ever
that furniture was given them in charity, it was to be discoloured to
prevent an appearance of superiority or arrogance. No brother was to
receive or despatch letters without the leave of the master or
procurator, who might read them if he chose. No gift was to be accepted
by a Templar till permission was first obtained from the Master. No
knight should talk to any brother of his previous frolics and
irregularities in the world. No brother, in pursuit of worldly delight,
was to hawk, to shoot in the woods with long or crossbow, to halloo to
dogs, or to spur a horse after game. There might be married brothers,
but they were to leave part of their goods to the chapter, and not to
wear the white habit. Widows were not to dwell in the preceptories. When
travelling, Templars were to lodge only with men of the best repute, and
to keep a light burning all night "lest the dark enemy, from whom God
preserve us, should find some opportunity." Unrepentant brothers were to
be cast out. Last of all, every Templar was to shun "feminine kisses,"
whether from widow, virgin, mother, sister, aunt, or any other woman.

During six of the seven Crusades (1096-1272), during which the
Christians of Europe endeavoured, with tremendous yet fitful energy, to
wrest the birthplace of Christianity from the equally fanatic Moslems,
the Knights Templars fought bravely among the foremost. Whether by the
side of Godfrey of Bouillon, Louis VII., Philip V., Richard Coeur de
Lion, Louis IX., or Prince Edward, the stern, sunburnt men in the white
mantles were ever foremost in the shock of spears. Under many a clump of
palm trees, in many a scorched desert track, by many a hill fortress,
smitten with sabre or pierced with arrow, the holy brotherhood dug the
graves of their slain companions.

A few of the deeds, which must have been so often talked of upon the
Temple terrace and in the Temple cloister, must be narrated, to show
that, however mistaken was the ideal of the Crusaders, these monkish
warriors fought their best to turn it into a reality. In 1146 the whole
brotherhood joined the second Crusade, and protected the rear of the
Christian army in its toilsome march through Asia Minor. In 1151, the
Order saved Jerusalem, and drove back the Infidels with terrible
slaughter. Two years later the Master of the Temple was slain, with many
of the white mantles, in fiercely essaying to storm the walls of
Ascalon. Three years after this 300 Templars were slain in a Moslem
ambuscade, near Tiberias, and 87 were taken prisoners. We next find the
Templars repelling the redoubtable Saladin from Gaza; and in a great
battle near Ascalon, in 1177, the Master of the Temple and ten knights
broke through the Mameluke Guards, and all but captured Saladin in his
tent. The Templars certainly had their share of Infidel blows, for, in
1178, the whole Order was nearly slain in a battle with Saladin; and in
another fierce conflict, only the Grand Master and two knights escaped;
while again at Tiberias, in 1187, they received a cruel repulse, and
were all but totally destroyed.

In 1187, when Saladin took Jerusalem, he next besieged the great Templar
stronghold of Tyre; and soon after a body of the knights, sent from
London, attacked Saladin's camp in vain, and the Grand Master and nearly
half of the Order perished. In the subsequent siege of Acre the
Crusaders lost nearly 100,000 men in nine pitched battles. In 1191,
however, Acre was taken, and the Kings of France and England, and the
Masters of the Temple and the Hospital, gave the throne of the Latin
kingdom to Guy de Lusignan. When Richard Coeur de Lion had cruelly put
to death 2,000 Moslem prisoners, we find the Templars interposing to
prevent Richard and the English fighting against the Austrian allies;
and soon after the Templars bought Cyprus of Richard for 300,000 livres
of gold. In the advance to Jerusalem the Templars led the van of
Richard's army. When the attack on Jerusalem was suspended, the Templars
followed Richard to Ascalon, and soon afterwards gave Cyprus to Guy de
Lusignan, on condition of his surrendering the Latin crown. When Richard
abandoned the Crusade, after his treaty with Saladin, it was the
Templars who gave him a galley and the disguise of a Templar's white
robe to secure his safe passage to an Adriatic port. Upon Richard's
departure they erected many fortresses in Palestine, especially one on
Mount Carmel, which they named Pilgrim's Castle.

The fourth Crusade was looked on unfavourably by the brotherhood, who
now wished to remain at peace with the Infidel, but they nevertheless
soon warmed to the fighting, and we find a band of the white mantles
defeated and slain at Jaffa. With a second division of Crusaders the
Templars quarrelled, and were then deserted by them. Soon after the
Templars and Hospitallers, now grown corrupt and rich, quarrelled about
lands and fortresses; but they were still favoured by the Pope, and
helped to maintain the Latin throne. In 1209 they were strong enough to
resist the interdict of Pope Innocent; and in the Crusade of 1217 they
invaded Egypt, and took Damietta by assault, but, at the same time, to
the indignation of England, wrote home urgently for more money. An
attack on Cairo proving disastrous, they concluded a truce with the
Sultan in 1221. In the Crusade of the Emperor Frederick the Templars
refused to join an excommunicated man. In 1240, the Templars wrested
Jerusalem from the Sultan of Damascus, but, in 1243, were ousted by the
Sultan of Egypt and the Sultan of Damascus, and were almost exterminated
in a two days' battle; and, in 1250, they were again defeated at
Mansourah. When King Louis was taken prisoner, the Infidels demanded the
surrender of all the Templar fortresses in Palestine, but eventually
accepted Damietta alone and a ransom, which Louis exacted from the
Templars. In 1257 the Moguls and Tartars took Jerusalem, and almost
annihilated the Order, whose instant submission they required. In 1268
Pope Urban excommunicated the Marshal of the Order, but the Templars
nevertheless held by their comrade, and Bendocdar, the Mameluke, took
all the castles belonging to the Templars in Armenia, and also stormed
Antioch, which had been a Christian city 170 years.

After Prince Edward's Crusade the Templars were close pressed. In 1291,
Aschraf Khalil besieged the two Orders and 12,000 Christians in Acre for
six terrible weeks. The town was stormed, and all the Christian
prisoners, who flew to the Infidel camp, were ruthlessly beheaded. A few
of the Templars flew to the Convent of the Temple, and there perished;
the Grand Master had already fallen; a handful of the knights only
escaping to Cyprus.

The persecution of the now corrupt and useless Order commenced sixteen
years afterwards. In 1306, both in London and Paris, terrible murmurs
arose at their infidelity and their vices. At the Church of St.
Martin's, Ludgate, where the English Templars were accused, the
following charges were brought against them:--

1. That at their first reception into the Order, they were admonished by
those who had received them within the bosom of the fraternity to deny
Christ, the crucifixion, the blessed Virgin, and all the saints. 5. That
the receivers instructed those that were received that Christ was not
the true God. 7. That they said Christ had not suffered for the
redemption of mankind, nor been crucified but for His own sins. 9. That
they made those they received into the Order spit upon the cross. 10.
That they caused the cross itself to be trampled under foot. 11. That
the brethren themselves did sometimes trample on the same cross. 14.
That they worshipped a cat, which was placed in the midst of the
congregation. 16. That they did not believe the sacrament of the altar,
nor the other sacraments of the Church. 24. That they believed that the
Grand Master of the Order could absolve them from their sins. 25. That
the visitor could do so. 26. That the preceptors, of whom many were
laymen, could do it. 36. That the receptions of the brethren were made
clandestinely. 37. That none were present but the brothers of the said
Order. 38. That for this reason there has for a long time been a
vehement suspicion against them. 46. That the brothers themselves had
idols in every province, viz., heads, some of which had three faces, and
some one, and some a man's skull. 47. That they adored that idol, or
those idols, especially in their great chapters and assemblies. 48. That
they worshipped them. 49. As their God. 50. As their saviour. 51. That
some of them did so. 52. That the greater part did. 53. They said those
heads could save them. 54. That they could produce riches. 55. That they
had given to the Order all its wealth. 56. That they caused the earth to
bring forth seed. 57. That they made the trees to flourish. 58. That
they bound or touched the heads of the said idols with cords, wherewith
they bound themselves about their shirts, or next their skins. 59. That
at their reception, the aforesaid little cords, or others of the same
length, were delivered to each of the brothers. 61. That it was enjoined
them to gird themselves with the said little cords, as before mentioned,
and continually to wear them. 62. That the brethren of the Order were
generally received in that manner. 63. That they did these things out of
devotion. 64. That they did them everywhere. 65. That the greater part
did. 66. That those who refused the things above mentioned at their
reception, or to observe them afterwards, were killed or cast into
prison.

The Order was proud and arrogant, and had many enemies. The Order was
rich, and spoil would reward its persecutors. The charges against the
knights were eagerly believed; many of the Templars were burned at the
stake in Paris, and many more in various parts of France. In England
their punishment seems to have been less severe. The Order was formally
abolished by Pope Clement V., in the year 1312.




CHAPTER XIV.

THE TEMPLE CHURCH AND PRECINCT.

    The Temple Church--Its Restorations--Discoveries of Antiquities--The
    Penitential Cell--Discipline in the Temple--The Tombs of the
    Templars in the "Round"--William and Gilbert Marshall--Stone Coffins
    in the Churchyard--Masters of the Temple--The "Judicious"
    Hooker--Edmund Gibbon, the Historian--The Organ in the Temple
    Church--The Rival Builders--"Straw Bail"--History of the
    Precinct--Chaucer and the Friar--His Mention of the Temple--The
    Serjeants--Erection of New Buildings--The "Roses"--Sumptuary
    Edicts--The Flying Horse.


The round church of the Temple is the finest of the four round churches
still existing in England. The Templars did not, however, always build
round towers, resembling the Temple at Jerusalem, though such was
generally their practice. The restoration of this beautiful relic was
one of the first symptoms of the modern Gothic revival.

In the reign of Charles II. the body of the church was filled with
formal pews, which concealed the bases of the columns, while the walls
were encumbered, to the height of eight feet from the ground, with oak
wainscoting, which was carried entirely round the church, so as to hide
the elegant marble piscina, the interesting almeries over the high
altar, and the _sacrarium_ on the eastern side of the edifice. The
elegant Gothic arches connecting the round with the square church were
choked up with an oak screen and glass windows and doors, and with an
organ gallery adorned with Corinthian columns, pilasters, and Grecian
ornaments, which divided the building into two parts, altogether
altered its original character and appearance, and sadly marring its
architectural beauty. The eastern end of the church was at the same time
disfigured by an enormous altar-piece in the _classic style_, decorated
with Corinthian columns and Grecian cornices and entablatures, and with
enrichments of cherubims and wreaths of fruit, flowers, and leaves,
heavy and cumbrous, and quite at variance with the Gothic character of
the building. A large pulpit and carved sounding-board were erected in
the middle of the dome, and the walls and whinns were encrusted and
disfigured with hideous mural monuments and pagan trophies of forgotten
wealth and vanity.

[Illustration: A KNIGHT TEMPLAR.]

The following account of the earliest repairs of the Temple Church is
given in "The New View of London": "Having narrowly escaped the flames
in 1666, it was in 1682 beautified, and the curious wainscot screen set
up. The south-west part was, in the year 1695, new built with stone. In
the year 1706 the church was wholly new whitewashed, gilt, and painted
within, and the pillars of the round tower wainscoted with a new
battlement and buttresses on the south side, and other parts of the
outside were well repaired. Also the figures of the Knights Templars
were cleaned and painted, and the iron-work enclosing them new painted
and gilt with gold. The east end of the church was repaired and
beautified in 1707." In 1737 the exterior of the north side and east end
were again repaired.

The first step towards the real restoration of the Temple Church was
made in 1825. It had been generally repaired in 1811, but in 1825 Sir
Robert Smirke restored the whole south side externally and the lower
part of the circular portion of the round church. The stone seat was
renewed, the arcade was restored, the heads which had been defaced or
removed were supplied. The wainscoting of the columns was taken away,
the monuments affixed to some of the columns were removed, and the
position of others altered. There still remained, however, monuments in
the round church materially affecting the relative proportions of the
two circles; the clustered columns still retained their incrustations of
paint, plaster, and whitewash; the three archway entrances into the
oblong church remained in their former state, detaching the two portions
from each other, and entirely destroying the perspective which those
arches afforded.

When the genuine restoration was commenced in 1845, the removal of the
_beautifications and adornments_ which had so long disfigured the Temple
Church, was regarded as an act of vandalism. Seats were substituted for
pews, and a smaller pulpit and reading-desk supplied more appropriate to
the character of the building. The pavement was lowered to its original
level; and thus the bases of the columns became once more visible. The
altar screen and railing were taken down. The organ was removed, and
thus all the arches from the round church to the body of the oblong
church were thrown open. By this alteration the character of the church
was shown in its original beauty.

In the summer of 1840, the two Societies of the Inner and Middle Temple
had the paint and whitewash scraped off the marble columns and ceiling.
The removal of the modern oak wainscoting led to the discovery of a very
beautiful double marble piscina near the east end of the south side of
the building, together with an adjoining elegantly-shaped recess, and
also a picturesque Gothic niche on the north side of the church.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE TEMPLE CHURCH (_see page 150_).]

On taking up the modern floor, remains of the original tesselated
pavement were discovered. When the whitewash and plaster were removed
from the ceiling it was found in a dangerous condition. There were also
found there remains of ancient decorative paintings and rich ornaments
worked in gold and silver; but they were too fragmentary to give an idea
of the general pattern. Under these circumstances it was resolved to
redecorate the ceiling in a style corresponding with the ancient
decorative paintings observable in many Gothic churches in Italy and
France.

As the plaster and whitewash were removed it was found that the columns
were of the most beautiful Purbeck marble. The six elegant clustered
columns in the round tower had been concealed with a thick coating of
Roman cement, which had altogether concealed the graceful form of the
mouldings and carved foliage of their capitals. Barbarous slabs of
Portland stone had been cased round their bases and entirely altered
their character. All this modern patchwork was thrown away; but the
venerable marble proved so mutilated that new columns were found
necessary to support the fabric. These are exact imitations of the old
ones. The six elegant clustered columns already alluded to, however,
needed but slight repair. Almost all the other marble-work required
renewal, and a special messenger was despatched to Purbeck to open the
ancient quarries.

Above the western doorway was discovered a beautiful Norman window,
composed of Caen stone. The porch before the western door of the Temple
Church, which formerly communicated with an ancient cloister leading to
the hall of the Knights Templars, had been filled up with rubbish to a
height of nearly two feet above the level of the ancient pavement, so
that all the bases of the magnificent Norman doorway were entirely
hidden from view.

Previous to the recent restoration the round tower was surmounted by a
wooden, flat, whitewashed ceiling, altogether different from the ancient
roof. This ceiling and the timber roof above it have been entirely
removed, and replaced by the present elegant and substantial roof, which
is composed of oak, protected externally by sheet copper, and has been
painted by Mr. Willement in accordance with an existing example of
decorative painting in an ancient church in Sicily. Many buildings were
also removed to give a clearer view of the fine old church.

"Among the many interesting objects," says Mr. Addison, "to be seen in
the ancient church of the Knights Templars is a _penitential cell_, a
dreary place of solitary confinement formed within the thick wall of the
building, only four feet six inches long and two feet six inches wide,
so narrow and small that a grown person cannot lie down within it. In
this narrow prison the disobedient brethren of the ancient Templars
were temporarily confined in chains and fetters, 'in order that their
souls might be saved from the eternal prison of hell.' The hinges and
catch of a door, firmly attached to the doorway of this dreary chamber,
still remain, and at the bottom of the staircase is a stone recess or
cupboard, where bread and water were placed for the prisoner. In this
cell Brother Walter le Bacheler, Knight, and Grand Preceptor of Ireland,
is said to have been starved to death for disobedience to his superior,
the Master of the Temple. His body was removed at daybreak and buried by
Brother John de Stoke and Brother Radulph de Barton in the middle of the
court between the church and the hall."

The Temple discipline in the early times was very severe: disobedient
brethren were scourged by the Master himself in the Temple Church, and
frequently whipped publicly on Fridays in the church. Adam de
Valaincourt, a deserter, was sentenced to eat meat with the dogs for a
whole year, to fast four days in the week, and every Monday to present
himself naked at the high altar to be publicly scourged by the
officiating priest.

At the time of the restoration of the church stained glass windows were
added, and the panels of the circular vaulting were emblazoned with the
lamb and horse--the devices of the Inner and Middle Temple--and the
Beauseant, or black and white banner of the Templars.

The mail-clad effigies on the pavement of the "Round" of the Temple
Church are not monuments of Knights Templars, but of "Associates of the
Temple," persons only partially admitted to the privileges of the
powerful Order. During the last repairs there were found two Norman
stone coffins and four ornamented leaden coffins in small vaults beneath
these effigies, but not in their original positions. Stow, in 1598,
speaks of eight images of armed knights in the round walk. The effigies
have been restored by Mr. Richardson, the sculptor. The most interesting
of these represents Geoffrey de Magnaville, Earl of Essex, a bold baron,
who fought against King Stephen, sacked Cambridge, and plundered Ramsey
Abbey. He was excommunicated, and while besieging Burwell Castle was
struck by an arrow from a crossbow just as he had taken off his helmet
to get air. The Templars, not daring to bury him, soldered him up in
lead, and hung him on a crooked tree in their river-side orchard. The
corpse being at last absolved, the Templars buried it before the west
door of their church. He is to be known by a long, pointed shield
charged with rays on a diamonded field. The next figure, of Purbeck
marble in low relief, is supposed to be the most ancient of all. The
shield is kite-shaped, the armour composed of rude rings--name unknown.
Vestiges of gilding were discovered upon this monument. The two effigies
on the north-east of the "Round" are also anonymous. They are the
tallest of all the stone brethren: one of them is straight-legged; the
crossed legs of his comrade denote a Crusading vow. The feet of the
first rests on two grotesque human heads, probably Infidels; the second
wears a mouth guard like a respirator. Between the two figures is the
copestone lid of an ancient sarcophagus, probably that of a Master or
Visitor-General of the Templars, as it has the head of the cross which
decorates it adorned with a lion's head, and the foot rests on the head
of a lamb, the joint emblems of the Order of the Templars. During the
excavations in the "Round," a magnificent Purbeck marble sarcophagus,
the lid decorated with a foliated cross, was dug up and re-interred.

On the south side of the "Round," between two columns, his feet resting
upon a lion, reposes a great historical personage, William Marshall, the
Protector of England during the minority of King Henry III., a warrior
and a statesman whose name is sullied by no crimes. The features are
handsome, and the whole body is wrapped in chain mail. A Crusader in
early life, the earl became one of Richard Coeur de Lion's vicegerents
during his absence in Palestine. He fought in Normandy for King John,
helped in the capture of Prince Arthur and his sister, urged the usurper
to sign Magna Charta, and secured the throne for Prince Henry. Finally,
he defeated the French invaders, routed the French at sea, and died, in
the fulness of years, a warrior whose deeds had been notable, a
statesman whose motives could seldom be impugned. Shakespeare, with ever
a keen eye for great men, makes the earl the interceder for Prince
Arthur. He was a great benefactor of the brethren of the Chivalry of the
Temple.

By the side of the earl reposes his warlike son William Marshall the
younger, cut in freestone. He was one of the chief leaders of the Barons
against John, and in Henry's reign he overthrew Prince Llewellyn, and
slew 8,000 wild Welsh. He fought with credit in Brittany and Ireland,
and eventually married Eleanor, the king's sister. He gave an estate to
the Templars. The effigy is clad in a shirt of ring mail, above which is
a loose garment, girded at the waist. The shield on the left arm bears a
lion rampant.

Near the western doorway reclines the mailed effigy of Gilbert Marshall,
Earl of Pembroke, third son of the Protector. He is in the act of
drawing a sword, and his left foot rests on a winged dragon. This earl,
at the murder of a brother in Ireland, succeeded to the title, and
married Margaret, a daughter of the King of Scotland. He was just
starting for the Crusades, when he was killed by a fall from his horse,
in a tournament held at Ware, (1241). Like the other Marshalls, he was a
benefactor of the Temple, and, like all the four sons of the Protector,
died without issue, in the reign of Henry III., the family becoming
extinct with him. Matthew Paris declared that the race had been cursed
by the Bishop of Fernes, from whom the Protector had stolen lands. The
bishop, says the chronicler, with great awe came with King Henry to the
Temple Church, and, standing at the earl's tomb, promised the dead man
absolution if the lands were returned. No restitution was made, so the
curse fell on the doomed race. All these Pembrokes wear chain hoods and
have animals recumbent at their feet.

The name of a beautiful recumbent mailed figure next Gilbert Marshall is
unknown, and near him, on the south side of the "Round," rests the
ever-praying effigy of Robert, Lord de Ros. This lord was no Templar,
for he has no beard, and wears flowing hair, contrary to the rules of
the Order. His shield bears three water buckets. The figure is cut out
of yellow Roach Abbey stone. The armour is linked. This knight was fined
£800 by Richard Coeur de Lion for allowing a French prisoner of
consequence to escape from his custody. He married a daughter of a King
of Scotland, was Sheriff of Cumberland, helped to extort Magna Charta
from King John, and gave much public property to the Templars.

During the repairs of the round tower several sarcophagi of Purbeck
marble were discovered. On the coffins being removed while the tower was
being propped, the bodies all crumbled to dust. The sarcophagi were all
re-interred in the centre of the "Round."

During the repairs of 1850 the workmen discovered and stole an ancient
seal of the Order; it had the name of Berengarius, and on one side was
represented the Holy Sepulchre. "The churchyard abounds," Mr. Addison
says, "with ancient stone coffins." According to Burton, an antiquary of
Elizabeth's time, there then existed in the Temple Church a monument to
a Visitor-General of the Order. Among other distinguished persons buried
in the Temple Church, for so many ages a place of special sanctity, was
William Plantagenet, fifth son of Henry III., who died when a youth.
Henry III. himself, had at one time resolved to be buried "with the
brethren of the Chivalry of the Temple, expecting and hoping that,
through our Lord and Saviour, it will greatly contribute to the
salvation of our soul." Queen Eleanor also provided for her interment in
the Temple, but it was otherwise decreed.

In the triforium of the Temple Church have been packed away, like
lumber, the greater part of the clumsy monuments that once disfigured
the walls and columns below. In this strange museum lord chancellors,
councillors of state, learned benchers, barons of the exchequer, masters
of the rolls, treasurers, readers, prothonotaries, poets, and authors
jostle each other in dusty confusion. At the entrance, under a canopy,
is the recumbent figure of the great lawyer of Elizabeth's time, Edmund
Plowden. This grave and wise man, being a staunch Romanist, was slighted
by the Protestant Queen. It is said that he was so studious in his youth
that at one period he never went out of the Temple precincts for three
whole years. He was Treasurer of the Middle Temple the year the hall was
built.

Selden (that great writer on international law, whose "Mare clausum" was
a reply to the "Mare liberum" of Grotius) is buried to the left of the
altar, the spot being marked by a monument of white marble. "His grave,"
says Aubrey, "was about ten feet deepe or better, walled up a good way
with bricks, of which also the bottome was paved, but the sides at the
bottome for about two foot high were of black polished marble, wherein
his coffin (covered with black bayes) lyeth, and upon that wall of
marble was presently lett downe a huge black marble stone of great
thicknesse, with this inscription--'Hic jacet corpus Johannis Seldeni,
qui obijt 30 die Novembris, 1654.' Over this was turned an arch of brick
(for the house would not lose their ground), and upon that was throwne
the earth," &c.

There is a monument in the triforium to Edmund Gibbon, a herald and an
ancestor of the historian. The great writer alluding to this monument
says--"My family arms are the same which were borne by the Gibbons of
Kent, in an age when the College of Heralds religiously guarded the
distinctions of blood and name--a lion rampant gardant between three
schollop shells argent, on a field azure. I should not, however, have
been tempted to blazon my coat of arms were it not connected with a
whimsical anecdote. About the reign of James I., the three harmless
schollop shells were changed by Edmund Gibbon, Esq., into three
ogresses, or female cannibals, with a design of stigmatising three
ladies, his kinswomen, who had provoked him by an unjust lawsuit. But
this singular mode of revenge, for which he obtained the sanction of Sir
William Seager, King-at-Arms, soon expired with its author; and on his
own monument in the Temple Church the monsters vanish, and the three
schollop shells resume their proper and hereditary place."

At the latter end of Charles II.'s reign the organ in the Temple Church
became the subject of a singular contest, which was decided by a most
remarkable judge. The benchers had determined to have the best organ in
London; the competitors for the building were Smith and Harris. Father
Smith, a German, was renowned for his care in choosing wood without knot
or flaw, and for throwing aside every metal or wooden pipe that was not
perfect and sound. His stops were also allowed by all to be singularly
equal and sweet in tone. The two competitors were each to erect an organ
in the Temple Church, and the best one was to be retained. The
competition was carried on with such violence that some of the partisans
almost ruined themselves by the money they expended. The night preceding
the trial the too zealous friends of Harris cut the bellows of Smith's
organ, and rendered it for the time useless. Drs. Blow and Purcell were
employed to show the powers of Smith's instrument, and the French
organist of Queen Catherine performed on Harris's. The contest
continued, with varying success, for nearly a twelvemonth. At length
Harris challenged his redoubtable rival to make certain additional reed
stops, _vox humana_, _cremona_, double bassoon and other stops, within a
given time. The controversy was at last terminated by Lord Chief Justice
Jefferies--the cruel and debauched Jefferies, who was himself an
accomplished musician--deciding in favour of Father Smith. Part of
Harris's rejected organ was erected at St. Andrew's, Holborn, part at
Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. Father Smith, in consequence of his
success at the Temple, was employed to build an organ for St. Paul's,
but Sir Christopher Wren would never allow the case to be made large
enough to receive all the stops. "The sound and general mechanism of
modern instruments," says Mr. Burge, "are certainly superior to those of
Father Smith's, but for sweetness of tone I have never met in any part
of Europe with pipes that have equalled his."

In the reign of James I. there was a great dispute between the Custos of
the Temple and the two Societies. This sinecure office, the gift of the
Crown, was a rectory without tithes, and the Custos was dependent upon
voluntary contributions. The benchers, irritated at Dr. Micklethwaite's
arrogant pretensions, shut the doctor out from their dinners. In the
reign of Charles I., the doctor complained to the king that he received
no tithes, was refused precedence as Master of the Temple, was allowed
no share in the deliberations, was not paid for his supernumerary
sermons, and was denied ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The doctor
thereupon locked up the church and took away the keys; but Noy, the
Attorney-General, snubbed him, and called him "_elatus et superbus_;"
and he got nothing, after all, but hard words, for his petition.

The learned and judicious Hooker, author of "The Ecclesiastical Polity,"
was for six years Master of the Temple--"a place," says Izaak Walton,
"which he accepted rather than desired." Travers, a disciple of
Cartwright the Nonconformist, was the lecturer; so Hooker, it was said,
preached Canterbury in the forenoon, and Travers Geneva in the
afternoon. The benchers were divided, and Travers being at last silenced
by the archbishop, Hooker resigned, and in his quiet parsonage of
Boscombe renewed the contest in print, in his "Ecclesiastical Polity."

When Bishop Sherlock was Master of the Temple, the sees of Canterbury
and London were vacant about the same time (1748); this occasioned an
epigram upon Sherlock,--

    "At the Temple one day, Sherlock taking a boat,
    The waterman asked him, 'Which way will you float?'
    'Which way?' says the Doctor; 'why, fool, with the stream!'
    To St. Paul's or to Lambeth was all one to him."

The tide in favour of Sherlock was running to St. Paul's. He was made
Bishop of London.

During the repairs of 1827 the ancient freestone chapel of St. Anne,
which stood on the south side of the "Round," was ruthlessly removed. We
had less reverence for antiquity then. The upper storey communicated
with the Temple Church by a staircase opening on the west end of the
south aisle of the choir; the lower joined the "Round" by a doorway
under one of the arches of the circular arcade. The chapel anciently
opened upon the cloisters, and formed a private way from the convent to
the church. Here the Papal legate and the highest bishops frequently
held conferences; and on Sunday mornings the Master of the Temple held
chapters, enjoined penances, made up quarrels, and pronounced
absolution. The chapel of St. Anne was in the old time much resorted to
by barren women, who there prayed for children.

In Charles II.'s time, according to "Hudibras," "straw bail" and low
rascals of that sort lingered about the Round, waiting for hire. Butler
says:--

    "Retain all sorts of witnesses
    That ply i' the Temple, under trees,
    Or walk the Round with Knights o' th' Posts,
    About the cross-legg'd knights, their hosts;
    Or wait for customers between
    The pillar rows in Lincoln's Inn."

In James I.'s time the Round, as we find in Ben Jonson, was a place for
appointments; and in 1681 Otway describes bullies of Alsatia, with
flapping hats pinned up on one side, sandy, weather-beaten periwigs, and
clumsy iron swords clattering at their heels, as conspicuous personages
among the Knights of the Posts and the other peripatetic philosophers of
the Temple walks.

We must now turn to the history of the whole precinct. When the proud
Order was abolished by the Pope, Edward II. granted the Temple to Aymer
de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, who, however, soon surrendered it to the
king's cousin, the Earl of Lancaster, who let it, at their special
request, to the students and professors of the common laws; the colony
then gradually becoming an organised and collegiate body, Edward I.
having authorised laymen for the first time to read and plead causes.

Hugh le Despenser for a time held the Temple, and on his execution
Edward III. appointed the Mayor of London its guardian. The mayor
closing the watergate caused much vexation to the lawyers rowing by boat
to Westminster, and the king had to interfere. In 1333 the king farmed
out the Temple rents at £25 a year. In the meantime, the Knights
Hospitallers, affecting to be offended at the desecration of holy
ground--the Bishop of Ely's lodgings, a chapel dedicated to à Becket,
and the door to the Temple Hall--claimed the forfeited spot. The king
granted their request, the annual revenue of the Temple then being £73
6s. 11d., equal to about £1,000 of our present money. In 1340, in
consideration of £100 towards an expedition to France, the warlike king
made over the residue of the Temple to the Hospitallers, who instantly
endowed the church with lands and one thousand fagots a year from
Lillerton Wood to keep up the church fires.

In this reign Chaucer, who is supposed to have been a student of the
Middle Temple, and who is said to have once beaten an insolent
Franciscan friar in Fleet Street, gives a eulogistic sketch of a Temple
manciple, or purveyor of provisions, in the prologue to his wonderful
"Canterbury Tales."

    "A gentil manciple was there of the Temple
    Of whom achatours mighten take ensample,
    For to ben wise in bying of vitàille;
    For, whether that he paid or toke by taille,
    Algate he waited so in his achate
    That he was aye before in good estate.
    Now is not that of God a full fayre grace
    That swiche a lewèd mannès wit shall face
    The wisdom of an hepe of lerned men?

    "Of maisters had he more than thries ten,
    _That were of law expert and curious_;
    Of which there was a dosein in that hous
    Worthy to ben stewardes of rent and land
    Of any lord that is in Engleland:
    To maken him live by his propre good,
    In honour detteles; but if he were wood,
    Or live as scarsly as him list desire,
    And able for to helpen all a shire,
    In any cos that mighte fallen or happe:
    And yet this manciple sett 'hir aller cappe.'"

In the Middle Temple Chaucer is supposed to have formed the
acquaintanceship of his graver contemporary, "the moral Gower."

[Illustration: TOMBS OF KNIGHTS TEMPLARS (_see page 152_).]

Many of the old retainers of the Templars became servants of the new
lawyers, who had ousted their masters. The attendants at table were
still called paniers, as they had formerly been. The dining in pairs,
the expulsion from hall for misconduct, and the locking out of chambers
were old customs also kept up. The judges of Common Pleas retained the
title of knight, and the Fratres Servientes of the Templars arose again
in the character of learned serjeants-at-law, the coif of the modern
serjeant being the linen coif of the old Freres Serjens of the Temple.
The coif was never, as some suppose, intended to hide the tonsure of
priests practising law contrary to ecclesiastical prohibition. The old
ceremony of creating serjeants-at-law exactly resembles that once used
for receiving Fratres Servientes into the fraternity of the Temple.

In Wat Tyler's rebellion the wild men of Kent poured down on the dens of
the Temple lawyers, pulled down their houses, carried off the books,
deeds, and rolls of remembrance, and burnt them in Fleet Street, to
spite the Knights Hospitallers. Walsingham, the chronicler, indeed, says
that the rebels--who, by the by, claimed only their rights--had resolved
to decapitate all the lawyers of London, to put an end to all the laws
that had oppressed them, and to clear the ground for better times. In
the reign of Henry VI. the overgrown society of the Temple divided into
two halls, or rather the original two halls of the knights and Fratres
Servientes separated into two societies. Brooke, the Elizabethan
antiquary, says: "To this day, in memory of the old custom, the benchers
or ancients of the one society dine once every year in the hall of the
other society."

Sir John Fortescue, Chief Justice of the King's Bench in the reign of
Henry VI., computed the annual expenses of each law student at more than
£28--("£450 of our present money"--Addison). The students were all
gentlemen by birth, and at each Inn of Court there was an academy, where
singing, music, and dancing were taught. On festival days, after the
offices of the Church, the students employed themselves in the study of
history and in reading the Scriptures. Any student expelled one society
was refused admission to any of the other societies. A manuscript
(_temp._ Henry VIII.) in the Cotton Library dwells much on the readings,
mootings, boltings, and other practices of the Temple students, and
analyses the various classes of benchers, readers, cupboardmen, inner
barristers, outer barristers, and students. The writer also mentions the
fact that in term times the students met to talk law and confer on
business in the church, which was, he says, as noisy as St. Paul's. When
the plague broke out the students went home to the country.

The Society of the Inner Temple was very active (says Mr. Foss) during
the reign of Henry VIII. in the erection of new buildings. Several
houses for chambers were constructed near the library, and were called
Pakington's Rents, from the name of the treasurer who superintended
them. Henry Bradshaw, treasurer in the twenty-sixth year, gave his name
to another set then built, which it kept until Chief Baron Tanfield
resided there in the reign of James I., since which it has been called
Tanfield Court. Other improvements were made about the same period, one
of these being the construction of a new ceiling to the hall and the
erection of a wall between the garden and the Thames.

The attention paid by the governors of the house both to the morals and
dress of its members is evidenced by the imposition, in the thirteenth
year of the reign of Henry VIII., of a fine of 6s. 8d. on any one who
should exercise the plays of "shove-grote" or "slyp-grote," and by the
mandate afterwards issued in the thirty-eighth year of the same reign,
that students should reform themselves in their cut, or disguised
apparel, and should not have long beards.

[Illustration: THE TEMPLE IN 1671. (FROM AN OLD BIRD'S-EYE VIEW IN THE
INNER TEMPLE.)]

It is in the Temple Gardens that Shakespeare--relying, probably, on some
old tradition which does not exist in print--has laid one of the scenes
of his _King Henry VI._--that, namely, in which the partisans of the
rival houses of York and Lancaster first assume their distinctive badges
of the white and red roses:--

    "_Suffolk._ Within the Temple Hall we were too loud;
    The garden here is more convenient.

           *       *       *       *       *

    "_Plantagenet._ Let him that is a true-born gentleman,
    And stands upon the honour of his birth,
    If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
    From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.

    "_Somerset._ Let him that is no coward, nor no flatterer,
    But dare maintain the party of the truth,
    Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.

           *       *       *       *       *

    "_Plantagenet._ Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset?

    "_Somerset._ Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet?

           *       *       *       *       *

    "_Warwick._                  This brawl to-day,
    Grown to this faction in the Temple Garden,
    Shall send, between the red rose and the white,
    A thousand souls to death and deadly night."

          _King Henry VI._, Part I., Act ii., sc. 4.

The books of the Middle Temple do not commence till the reign of King
Henry VII., the first treasurer named in them being John Brooke, in the
sixteenth year of Henry VII. (1500-1). Readers were not appointed till
the following year, the earliest being John Vavasour--probably son of
the judge, and not, as Dugdale calls him, the judge himself, who had
then been on the bench for twelve years. Members of the house might be
excused from living in commons on account of their wives being in town,
or for other special reasons (Foss).

In the last year of Philip and Mary (1558) eight gentlemen of the Temple
were expelled the society and committed to the Fleet for wilful
disobedience to the Bench, but on their humble submission they were
readmitted. A year before this a severe Act of Parliament was passed,
prohibiting Templars wearing beards of more than three weeks' growth,
upon pain of a forty-shilling fine, and double for every week after
monition. The young lawyers were evidently getting too foppish. They
were required to cease wearing Spanish cloaks, swords, bucklers,
rapiers, gowns, hats, or daggers at their girdles. Only knights and
benchers were to display doublets or hose of any light colour, except
scarlet and crimson, or to affect velvet caps, scarf-wings to their
gowns, white jerkins, buskins, velvet shoes, double shirt-cuffs, or
feathers or ribbons in their caps. More over, no attorney was to be
admitted into either house. These monastic rules were intended to
preserve the gravity of the profession, and must have pleased the
Poloniuses and galled the Mercutios of those troublous days.

In Elizabeth's days Master Gerard Leigh, a pedantic scholar of the
College of Heralds, persuaded the misguided Inner Temple to abandon the
old Templar arms--a plain red cross on a shield argent, with a lamb
bearing the banner of the sinless profession, surmounted by a red cross.
The heraldic euphuist substituted for this a flying Pegasus striking out
the fountain of Hippocrene with its hoofs, with the appended motto of
"Volat ad astera virtus," a recondite allusion to men, like Chaucer and
Gower, who, it is said, had turned from lawyers to poets.




CHAPTER XV.

THE TEMPLE (_continued_).

    The Middle Temple Hall: its Roof, Busts, and Portraits--Manningham's
    Diary--Fox Hunts in Hall--The Grand Revels--Spenser--Sir J. Davis--A
    Present to a King--Masques and Royal Visitors at the Temple--Fires
    in the Temple--The Last Great Revel in the Hall--Temple
    Anecdotes--The Gordon Riots--John Scott and his Pretty Wife--Colman
    "Keeping Terms"--Blackstone's "Farewell"--Burke--Sheridan--A Pair of
    Epigrams--Hare Court--The Barber's Shop--Johnson and the Literary
    Club--Charles Lamb--Goldsmith: his Life, Troubles, and
    Extravagances--"Hack Work" for Booksellers--_The Deserted
    Village_--_She Stoops to Conquer_--Goldsmith's Death and Burial.


In the glorious reign of Elizabeth the old Middle Temple Hall was
converted into chambers, and a new hall built. The present roof (says
Mr. Peter Cunningham) is the best piece of Elizabethan architecture in
London. The screen, in the Renaissance style, was long supposed to be an
exact copy of the Strand front of Old Somerset House; but this is a
vulgar error; nor could it have been made of timber from the Spanish
Armada, for the simple reason that it was set up thirteen years before
the Armada was organised. The busts of "doubting" Lord Eldon and his
brother, Lord Stowell, the great Admiralty judge, are by Behnes. The
portraits are chiefly second-rate copies. The exterior was cased with
stone, in "wretched taste," in 1757. The diary of an Elizabethan
barrister, named Manningham, preserved in the Harleian Miscellanies, has
preserved the interesting fact that in this hall in February,
1602--probably, says Mr. Collier, six months after its first appearance
at the Globe--Shakespeare's _Twelfth Night_ was acted.

"Feb. 2, 1601 (2).--At our feast," says Manningham, "we had a play
called _Twelve Night, or What you Will_, much like the _Comedy of
Errors_ or _Menechmi in Plautus_, but most like and neere to that in
Italian called _Inganni_. A good practice in it is to make the steward
believe his lady widdowe was in love with him, by counterfayting a
letter, as from his lady, in generall terms telling him what shee liked
best in him, and prescribing his gestures, inscribing his apparaile,
&c., and then, when he came to practise, making him believe they tooke
him to be mad."

The Temple revels in the olden time were indeed gorgeous outbursts of
mirth and hospitality. One of the most splendid of these took place in
the fourth year of Elizabeth's reign, when the queen's favourite, Lord
Robert Dudley (afterwards the great Earl of Leicester) was elected
Palaphilos, constable or marshal of the inn, to preside over the
Christmas festivities. He had lord chancellor and judges, eighty guards,
officers of the household, and other distinguished persons to attend
him; and another of the queen's subsequent favourites, Christopher
Hatton--a handsome youth, remarkable for his skill in dancing--was
appointed master of the games. The daily banquets of the Constable were
announced by the discharge of a double cannon, and drums and fifes
summoned the mock court to the common hall, while sackbuts, cornets, and
recorders heralded the arrival of every course. At the first remove a
herald at the high table cried,--"The mighty Palaphilos, Prince of
Sophie, High Constable, Marshal of the Knights Templars, Patron of the
Honourable Order of Pegasus!--a largesse! a largesse!" upon which the
Prince of Sophie tossed the man a gold chain worth a thousand talents.
The supper ended, the king-at-arms entered, and, doing homage, announced
twenty-four special gentlemen, whom Pallas had ordered him to present to
Palaphilos as knights-elect of the Order of Pegasus. The twenty-four
gentlemen at once appeared, in long white vestures, with scarves of
Pallas's colours, and the king-at-arms, bowing to each, explained to
them the laws of the new order.

For every feast the steward provided five fat hams, with spices and
cakes, and the chief butler seven dozen gilt and silver spoons, twelve
damask table-cloths, and twenty candlesticks. The Constable wore gilt
armour and a plumed helmet, and bore a poleaxe in his hands. On St.
Thomas's Eve a parliament was held, when the two youngest brothers,
bearing torches, preceded the procession of benchers, the officers'
names were called, and the whole society passed round the hearth singing
a carol. On Christmas Eve the minstrels, sounding, preceded the dishes,
and, dinner done, sang a song at the high table; after dinner the oldest
master of the revels and other gentlemen singing songs.

On Christmas Day the feast grew still more feudal and splendid. At the
great meal at noon the minstrels and a long train of servitors bore in
the blanched boar's head, with a golden lemon in its jaws, the
trumpeters being preceded by two gentlemen in gowns, bearing four
torches of white wax. On St. Stephen's Day the younger Templars waited
at table upon the benchers. At the first course the Constable entered,
to the sound of horns, preceded by sixteen swaggering trumpeters, while
the halberdiers bore "the tower" on their shoulders and marched gravely
three times round the fire.

On St. John's Day the Constable was up at seven, and personally called
and reprimanded any tardy officers, who were sometimes committed to the
Tower for disorder. If any officer absented himself at meals, any one
sitting in his place was compelled to pay his fee and assume his office.
Any offender, if he escaped into the oratory, could claim sanctuary, and
was pardoned if he returned into the hall humbly and as a servitor,
carrying a roll on the point of a knife. No one was allowed to sing
after the cheese was served.

On Childermas Day, New Year's Day, and Twelfth Night the same costly
feasts were continued, only that on Thursday there was roast beef and
venison pasty for dinner, and mutton and roast hens were served for
supper. The final banquet closing all was preceded by a dance, revel,
play, or mask, the gentlemen of every Inn of Court and Chancery being
invited, and the hall furnished with side scaffolds for the ladies, who
were feasted in the library. The Lord Chancellor and the ancients
feasted in the hall, the Templars serving. The feast over, the
Constable, in his gilt armour, ambled into the hall on a caparisoned
mule, and arranged the sequence of sports.

The Constable then, with three reverences, knelt before the King of the
Revels, and, delivering up his naked sword, prayed to be taken into the
royal service. Next entered Hatton, the Master of the Game, clad in
green velvet, his rangers arrayed in green satin. Blowing "a blast of
venery" three times on their horns, and holding green-coloured bows and
arrows in their hands, the rangers paced three times round the central
fire, then knelt to the King of the Revels, and desired admission into
the royal service. Next ensued a strange and barbarous ceremony. A
huntsman entered with a live fox and cat and nine or ten couple of
hounds, and, to the blast of horns and wild shouting, the poor creatures
were torn to shreds, for the amusement of the applauding Templars. At
supper the Constable entered to the sound of drums, borne upon a
scaffold by four men, and as he was carried three times round the hearth
every one shouted, "A lord! a lord!"

He then descended, called together his mock court, by such fantastic
names as--

    Sir Francis Flatterer, of Fowlershurst, in the county
    of Buckingham;

    Sir Randal Rakabite, of Rascal Hall, in the county
    of Rakebell;

    Sir Morgan Mumchance, of Much Monkery, in the
    county of Mad Mopery;

and the banquet then began, every man having a gilt pot full of wine,
and each one paying sixpence for his repast. That night, when the lights
were put out, the noisy, laughing train passed out of the portal, and
the long revels were ended.

"Sir Edward Coke," says Lord Campbell, writing of this period, "first
evinced his forensic powers when deputed by the students to make a
representation to the benchers of the Inner Temple respecting the bad
quality of their _commons_ in the hall. After laboriously studying the
facts and the law of the case, he clearly proved that the cook had
broken his engagement, and was liable to be dismissed. This, according
to the phraseology of the day, was called 'the cook's case,' and he was
said to have argued it with so much quickness of penetration and
solidity of judgment, that he gave entire satisfaction to the students,
and was much admired by the Bench."

In his exquisite "Prothalamion" Spenser alludes to the Temple as if he
had sketched it from the river, after a visit to his great patron, the
Earl of Essex,--

                        "Those bricky towers,
    The which on Thames' broad, aged back doe ride,
    Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers,
    There whilom wont the Templar Knights to bide,
    Till they decayed through pride."

Sir John Davis, the author of "Nosce Teipsum," that fine mystic poem on
the immortality of the soul, and of that strange philosophical rhapsody
on dancing, was expelled the Temple in Elizabeth's reign, for thrashing
his friend, another roysterer of the day, Mr. Richard Martin, in the
Middle Temple Hall; but afterwards, on proper submission, he was
readmitted. Davis afterwards reformed, and became the wise
Attorney-General of Ireland. His biographer says, that the preface to
his "Irish Reports" vies with Coke for solidity and Blackstone for
elegance. Martin (whose monument is now hoarded up in the Triforium)
also became a learned lawyer and a friend of Selden's, and was the
person to whom Ben Jonson dedicated his bitter play, _The Poetaster_. In
the dedication the poet says, "For whose innocence as for the author's
you were once a noble and kindly undertaker: signed, your true lover,
BEN JONSON."

On the accession of James I. some of his hungry Scotch courtiers
attempted to obtain from the king a grant of the fee-simple of the
Temple; upon which the two indignant societies made "humble suit" to the
king, and obtained a grant of the property to themselves. The grant was
signed in 1609, the benchers paying £10 annually to the king for the
Inner Temple, and £10 for the Middle. In gratitude for this concession,
the two loyal societies presented his majesty with a stately gold cup,
weighing 200-1/2 ounces, which James "most graciously" accepted. On one
side was engraved a temple, on the other a flaming altar, with the words
_nil nisi vobis_; on the pyramidical cover stood a Roman soldier leaning
on his shield. This cup the bibulous monarch ever afterwards esteemed as
one of his rarest and richest jewels. In 1623 James issued another of
those absurd and trumpery sumptuary edicts, recommending the ancient way
of wearing caps, and requesting the Templars to lay aside their unseemly
boots and spurs, the badges of "roarers, rakes, and bullies."

The Temple feasts continued to be as lavish and magnificent as in the
days of Queen Mary, when no reader was allowed to contribute less than
fifteen bucks to the hall dinner, and many during their readings gave
fourscore or a hundred.

On the marriage (1613) of the Lady Elizabeth, daughter of King James I.,
with Prince Frederick, the unfortunate Elector-Palatine, the Temple and
Gray's Inn men gave a masque, of which Sir Francis Bacon was the chief
contriver. The masque came to Whitehall by water from Winchester Place,
in Southwark; three peals of ordnance greeting them as they embarked
with torches and lamps, as they passed the Temple Garden, and as they
landed. This short trip cost £300. The king, after all, was so tired,
and the hall so crowded, that the masque was adjourned till the Saturday
following, when all went well. The next night the king gave a supper to
the forty masquers; Prince Charles and his courtiers, who had lost a
wager to the king at running at the ring, paying for the banquet £30 a
man. The masquers, who dined with forty of the chief nobles, kissed his
majesty's hand. Shortly after this twenty Templars fought at barriers,
in honour of Prince Charles, the benchers contributing thirty shillings
each to the expenses; the barristers of seven years' standing, fifteen
shillings; and the other gentlemen in commons, ten shillings.

One of the grandest masques ever given by the Templars was one which
cost £21,000, and was presented, in 1633, to Charles I. and his French
queen. Bulstrode Whitelocke, then in his youth, gives a vivid picture
of this pageant, which was meant to refute Prynne's angry
"Histro-Mastix." Noy and Selden were members of the committee, and many
grave heads met together to discuss the dances, dresses, and music. The
music was written by Milton's friend, Lawes, the libretto by Shirley.
The procession set out from Ely House, in Holborn, on Candlemas Day, in
the evening. The four chariots that bore the sixteen masquers were
preceded by twenty footmen in silver-laced scarlet liveries, who carried
torches and cleared the way. After these rode 100 gentlemen from the
Inns of Court, mounted and richly clad, every gentleman having two
lackeys with torches and a page to carry his cloak. Then followed the
other masquers--beggars on horseback and boys dressed as birds. The
colours of the first chariot were crimson and silver, the four horses
being plumed and trapped in parti-coloured tissue. The Middle Temple
rode next, in blue and silver; and the Inner Temple and Lincoln's Inn
followed in equal bravery, 100 of the suits being reckoned to have cost
£10,000. The masque was most perfectly performed in the Banqueting House
at Whitehall, the Queen dancing with several of the masquers, and
declaring them to be as good dancers as ever she saw.

The year after the Restoration Sir Heneage Finch, afterwards Earl of
Nottingham, kept his "reader's feast" in the great hall of the Inner
Temple. At that time of universal vice, luxury, and extravagance, the
banquet lasted from the 4th to the 17th of August. It was, in fact, open
house to all London. The first day came the nobles and privy
councillors; the second, the Lord Mayor and aldermen; the third, the
whole College of Physicians in their mortuary caps and gowns; the
fourth, the doctors and advocates of civil law; on the fifth day, the
archbishops, bishops, and obsequious clergy; and on the fifteenth, as a
last grand explosion, the King, the Duke of York, the Duke of
Buckingham, and half the peers. An entrance was made from the river
through the wall of the Temple Garden, the King being received on
landing by the Reader and the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas;
the path from the garden to the wall was lined with the Reader's
servants, clad in scarlet cloaks and white doublets; while above them
stood the benchers, barristers, and students, music playing all the
while, and twenty violins welcoming Charles into the hall with unanimous
scrape and quaver. Dinner was served by fifty young students in their
gowns, no meaner servants appearing. In the November following the Duke
of York, the Duke of Buckingham, and the Earl of Dorset were admitted
members of the Society of the Inner Temple. Six years after, Prince
Rupert, then a grizzly old cavalry soldier, and addicted to experiments
in chemistry and engraving in his house in the Barbican, received the
same honour.

The great fire of 1666, says Mr. Jeaffreson, in his "Law and Lawyers,"
was stayed in its westward course at the Temple; but it was not
suppressed until the flames had consumed many sets of chambers, had
devoured the title-deeds of a vast number of valuable estates, and had
almost licked the windows of the Temple Church. Clarendon has recorded
that on the occasion of this stupendous calamity, which occurred when a
large proportion of the Templars were out of town, the lawyers in
residence declined to break open the chambers and rescue the property of
absent members of their society, through fear of prosecution for
burglary. Another great fire, some years later (January, 1678-79),
destroyed the old cloisters and part of the old hall of the Inner
Temple, and the greater part of the residential buildings of the "Old
Temple." Breaking out at midnight, and lasting till noon of next day, it
devoured, in the Middle Temple, the whole of Pump Court (in which
locality it originated), Elm-tree Court, Vine Court, and part of Brick
Court; in the Inner Temple the cloisters, the greater part of Hare
Court, and part of the hall. The night was bitterly cold, and the
Templars, aroused from their beds to preserve life and property, could
not get an adequate supply of water from the Thames, which the unusual
severity of the season had frozen. In this difficulty they actually
brought barrels of ale from the Temple butteries, and fed the engines
with the malt liquor. Of course this supply of fluid was soon exhausted,
so the fire spreading eastward, the lawyers fought it by blowing up the
buildings that were in immediate danger. Gunpowder was more effectual
than beer; but the explosions were sadly destructive to human life.
Amongst the buildings thus demolished was the library of the Inner
Temple. Naturally, but with no apparent good reason, the sufferers by
the fire attributed it to treachery on the part of persons unknown, just
as the citizens attributed the fire of 1666 to the Papists. It is more
probable that the calamity was caused by some such accident as that
which occasioned the fire which, during John Campbell's
attorney-generalship, destroyed a large amount of valuable property, and
had its origin in the clumsiness of a barrister who upset upon his fire
a vessel full of spirit. Of this fire Lord Campbell observes:--"When I
was Attorney-General, my chambers in Paper Buildings, Temple, were burnt
to the ground in the night-time, and all my books and manuscripts, with
some valuable official papers, were consumed. Above all, I had to lament
a collection of letters written to me by my dear father, from the time
of my going to college till his death in 1824. All lamented this
calamity except the claimant of a peerage, some of whose documents
(suspected to be forged) he hoped were destroyed; but fortunately they
had been removed into safe custody a few days before, and the claim was
dropped." The fire here alluded to broke out in the chambers of one
Thornbury, in Pump Court.

[Illustration: THE OLD HALL OF THE INNER TEMPLE (_see page 164_).]

"I remember," says North in his "Life of Lord Keeper Guildford," "that
after the fire of the Temple it was considered whether the old cloister
walks should be rebuilt or rather improved into chambers, which latter
had been for the benefit of the Middle Temple; but, in regard that it
could not be done without the consent of the Inner Houses, the masters
of the Middle Houses waited upon the then Mr. Attorney Finch to desire
the concurrence of his society upon a proposition of some benefit to be
thrown in on his side. But Mr. Attorney would by no means give way to
it, and reproved the Middle Templars very bitterly and eloquently upon
the subject of students walking in evenings there, and putting 'cases,'
which, he said, 'was done in his time, mean and low as the buildings
were then. However, it comes,' he said, 'that such a benefit to students
is now made little account of.' And thereupon the cloisters, by the
order and disposition of Sir Christopher Wren, were built as they now
stand."

[Illustration: Door from the Middle Temple.

Wig-Shop in the Middle Temple.

Door from the Inner Temple.

Fireplace in the Inner Temple.

Screen of the Middle Temple Hall.

Buttery of the Inner Temple.]

The last revel in any of the Inns of Court was held in the Inner Temple,
February, 1733 (George II.), in honour of Mr. Talbot, a bencher of that
house, accepting the Great Seal. The ceremony is described by an
eye-witness in "Wynne's Eunomus." The Lord Chancellor arrived at two
o'clock, preceded by Mr. Wollaston, Master of the Revels, and followed
by Dr. Sherlock, Bishop of Bangor, Master of the Temple, and the judges
and serjeants formerly of the Inner Temple. There was an elegant dinner
provided for them and the chancellor's officers, but the barristers and
students had only the usual meal of grand days, except that each man was
furnished with a flask of claret besides the usual allowance of port and
sack. Fourteen students waited on the Bench table: among them was Mr.
Talbot, the Lord Chancellor's eldest son, and by their means any special
dish was easily obtainable from the upper table. A large gallery was
built over the screen for the ladies; and music, placed in the little
gallery at the upper end of the hall, played all dinner-time. As soon as
dinner was over, the play of _Love for Love_ and the farce of _The Devil
to Pay_ were acted, the actors coming from the Haymarket in chaises, all
ready-dressed. It was said they refused all gratuity, being satisfied
with the honour of performing before such an audience. After the play,
the Lord Chancellor, the Master of the Temple, the judges and benchers
retired into their parliament chamber, and in about half an hour
afterwards came into the hall again, and a large ring was formed round
the fire-place (but no fire nor embers were in it). Then the Master of
the Revels, who went first, took the Lord Chancellor by the right hand,
and he with his left took Mr. J[ustice] Page, who, joined to the other
judges, serjeants, and benchers present, danced, or rather walked, round
about the coal fire, according to the old ceremony, three times, during
which they were aided in the figure of the dance by Mr. George Cooke,
the prothonotary, then upwards of sixty; and all the time of the dance
the _ancient song_, accompanied with music, was sung by one Tony Aston
(an actor), dressed in a bar gown, whose father had been formerly Master
of the Plea Office in the King's Bench. When this was over, the ladies
came down from the gallery, went into the parliament chamber, and stayed
about a quarter of an hour, while the hall was putting in order. Then
they went into the hall and danced a few minutes. Country dances began
about ten, and at twelve a very fine collation was provided for the
whole company, from which they returned to dancing. The Prince of Wales
honoured the performance with his company part of the time. He came into
the music gallery wing about the middle of the play, and went away as
soon as the farce of walking round the coal fire was over.

Mr. Peter Cunningham, _apropos_ of these revels, mentions that when the
floor of the Middle Temple Hall was taken up in 1764 there were found
nearly one hundred pair of very small dice, yellowed by time, which had
dropped through the chinks above. The same writer caps this fact by one
of his usually apposite quotations. Wycherly, in his _Plain Dealer_
(1676--Charles II.), makes Freeman, one of his characters,
say:--"Methinks 'tis like one of the Halls in Christmas time, whither
from all parts fools bring their money to try the dice (nor the worst
judges), whether it shall be their own or no."

The Inner Temple Hall (the refectory of the ancient knights) was almost
entirely rebuilt in 1816. The roof was overloaded with timber, the west
wall was cracking, and the wooden cupola of the bell let in the rain.
The pointed arches and rude sculpture at the entrance doors showed great
antiquity, but the northern wall had been rebuilt in 1680. The
incongruous Doric screen was surmounted by lions' heads, cones, and
other anomalous devices, and in 1741 low, classic windows had been
inserted in the south front. Of the old hall, where the Templars
frequently held their chapters, and at different times entertained King
John, King Henry III., and several of the legates, several portions
still remain. A very ancient groined Gothic arch forms the roof of the
present buttery, and in the apartment beyond there is a fine groined and
vaulted ceiling. In the cellars below are old walls of vast thickness,
part of an ancient window, a curious fire-place, and some pointed
arches, all now choked with modern brick partitions and dusty
staircases. These vaults formerly communicated by a cloister with the
chapel of St. Anne, on the south side of the church. In the reign of
James I. some brick chambers, three storeys high, were erected over the
cloister, but were burnt down in 1678. In 1681 the cloister chambers
were again rebuilt.

During the formation of the present new entrance to the Temple by the
church at the bottom of Inner Temple Lane, when some old houses were
removed, the masons came on a strong ancient wall of chalk and ragstone,
supposed to have been the ancient northern boundary of the convent.

Let us cull a few Temple anecdotes from various ages:--

In November, 1819, Erskine, in the House of Lords, speaking upon Lord
Lansdowne's motion for an inquiry into the state of the country,
condemned the conduct of the yeomanry at the "Manchester massacre." "By
an ordinary display of spirit and resolution," observed the brilliant
egotist to his brother peers (who were so impressed by his complacent
volubility and good-humoured self-esteem, that they were for the moment
ready to take him at his own valuation), "insurrection may be repressed
without violating the law or the constitution. In the riots of 1780,
when the mob were preparing to attack the house of Lord Mansfield, I
offered to defend it with a small military force; but this offer was
unluckily rejected. Afterwards, being in the Temple when the rioters
were preparing to force the gate and had fired several times, I went to
the gate, opened it, and showed them a field-piece, which I was prepared
to discharge in case the attack was persisted in. They were daunted,
fell back, and dispersed."

Judge Burrough (says Mr. Jeaffreson, in his "Law and Lawyers") used to
relate that when the Gordon Rioters besieged the Temple he and a strong
body of barristers, headed by a sergeant of the Guards, were stationed
in Inner Temple Lane, and that, having complete confidence in the
strength of their massive gate, they spoke bravely of their desire to be
fighting on the other side. At length the gate was forced. The lawyers
fell into confusion and were about to beat a retreat, when the sergeant,
a man of infinite humour, cried out in a magnificent voice, "Take care
no gentleman fires from behind." The words struck awe into the
assailants and caused the barristers to laugh. The mob, who had expected
neither laughter nor armed resistance, took to flight, telling all whom
they met that the bloody-minded lawyers were armed to the teeth and
enjoying themselves. The Temple was saved. When these Gordon Rioters
filled London with alarm, no member of the junior bar was more
prosperous and popular than handsome Jack Scott, and as he walked from
his house in Carey Street to the Temple, with his wife on his arm, he
returned the greetings of the barristers, who, besides liking him for a
good fellow, thought it prudent to be on good terms with a man sure to
achieve eminence. Dilatory in his early as well as his later years,
Scott left his house that morning half an hour late. Already it was
known to the mob that the Templars were assembling in their college, and
a cry of "The Temple! kill the lawyers!" had been raised in Whitefriars
and Essex Street. Before they reached the Middle Temple gate Mr. and
Mrs. Scott were assaulted more than once. The man who won Bessie Surtees
from a host of rivals and carried her away against the will of her
parents and the wishes of his own father, was able to protect her from
serious violence. But before the beautiful creature was safe within the
Temple her dress was torn, and when at length she stood in the centre of
a crowd of excited and admiring barristers, her head was bare and her
ringlets fell loose upon her shoulders. "The scoundrels have got your
hat, Bessie," whispered John Scott; "but never mind--they have left you
your hair."

In Lord Eldon's "Anecdote Book" there is another gate story amongst the
notes on the Gordon Riots. "We youngsters," says the aged lawyer, "at
the Temple determined that we would not remain inactive during such
times; so we introduced ourselves into a troop to assist the military.
We armed ourselves as well as we could, and next morning we drew up in
the court ready to follow out a troop of soldiers who were on guard.
When, however, the soldiers had passed through the gate it was suddenly
shut in our faces, and the officer in command shouted from the other
side, 'Gentlemen, I am much obliged to you for your intended assistance;
but I do not choose to allow my soldiers to be shot, so I have ordered
you to be locked in.'" And away he galloped.

The elder Colman decided on making the younger one a barrister; and
after visits to Scotland and Switzerland, the son returned to Soho
Square, and found that his father had taken for him chambers in the
Temple, and entered him as a student at Lincoln's Inn, where he
afterwards kept a few terms by eating oysters. Upon this Mr. Peake
notes:--"The students of Lincoln's Inn keep term by dining, or
pretending to dine, in the hall during the term time. Those who feed
there are accommodated with wooden trenchers instead of plates, and
previously to the dinner oysters are served up by way of prologue to the
play. Eating the oysters, or going into the hall without eating them, if
you please, and then departing to dine elsewhere, is quite sufficient
for term-keeping." The chambers in King's Bench Walk were furnished with
a tent-bedstead, two tables, half-a-dozen chairs, and a carpet as much
too scanty for the boards as Sheridan's "rivulet of rhyme" for its
"meadow of margin." To these the elder Colman added £10 worth of law
books which had been given to him in his own Lincoln's Inn days by Lord
Bath; then enjoining the son to work hard, the father left town upon a
party of pleasure.

Colman had sent his son to Switzerland to get him away from a certain
Miss Catherine Morris, an actress of the Haymarket company. This
answered for a time, but no sooner had the father left the son in the
Temple than he set off with Miss Morris to Gretna Green, and was there
married, in 1784; and four years after, the father's sanction having
been duly obtained, they were publicly married at Chelsea Church.

In the same staircase with Colman, in the Temple, lived the witty
Jekyll, who, seeing in Colman's chambers a round cage with a squirrel in
it, looked for a minute or two at the little animal, which was
performing the same operation as a man in the treadmill, and then
quietly said, "Ah, poor devil! he is going the Home Circuit;" the
locality where it was uttered--the Temple--favouring this technical
joke.

On the morning young Colman began his studies (December 20, 1784) he was
interrupted by the intelligence that the funeral procession of the great
Dr. Johnson was on its way from his late residence, Bolt Court, through
Fleet Street, to Westminster Abbey. Colman at once threw down his pen,
and ran forth to see the procession, but was disappointed to find it
much less splendid and imposing than the sepulchral pomp of Garrick five
years before.

Dr. Dibdin thus describes the Garden walks of the last
century:--"Towards evening it was the fashion for the leading counsel to
promenade during the summer months in the Temple Gardens. Cocked hats
and ruffles, with satin small-clothes and silk stockings, at this time
constituted the usual evening dress. Lord Erskine, though a great deal
shorter than his brethren, somehow always seemed to take the lead, both
in place and in discourse, and shouts of laughter would frequently
follow his dicta."

Ugly Dunning, afterwards the famous Lord Ashburton, entered the Middle
Temple in 1752, and was called four years later, in 1756. Lord
Chancellor Thurlow used to describe him wittily as "the knave of clubs."

Home Tooke, Dunning, and Kenyon were accustomed to dine together, during
the vacation, at a little eating-house in the neighbourhood of Chancery
Lane for the sum of sevenpence-halfpenny each. "As to Dunning and
myself," said Tooke, "we were generous, for we gave the girl who waited
upon us a penny a piece; but Kenyon, who always knew the value of money,
sometimes rewarded her with a halfpenny, and sometimes with a promise."

Blackstone, before dedicating his powers finally to the study of the law
in which he afterwards became so famous, wrote in Temple chambers his
"Farewell to the Muse:"--

    "Lulled by the lapse of gliding floods,
    Cheer'd by the warbling of the woods,
    How blest my days, my thoughts how free,
    In sweet society with thee!
    Then all was joyous, all was young,
    And years unheeded roll'd along;
    But now the pleasing dream is o'er--
    These scenes must charm me now no more.
    Lost to the field, and torn from you,
    Farewell!--a long, a last adieu!

           *       *       *       *       *

    Then welcome business, welcome strife,
    Welcome the cares, the thorns of life,
    The visage wan, the purblind sight,
    The toil by day, the lamp by night,
    The tedious forms, the solemn prate,
    The pert dispute, the dull debate,
    The drowsy bench, the babbling hall,--
    For thee, fair Justice, welcome all!"

That great orator, Edmund Burke, was entered at the Middle Temple in
1747, when the heads of the Scotch rebels of 1745 were still fresh on
the spikes of Temple Bar, and he afterwards came to keep his terms in
1750. In 1756 he occupied a two-pair chamber at the "Pope's Head," the
shop of Jacob Robinson, the Twickenham poet's publisher, just within the
Inner Temple gateway. Burke took a dislike, however, perhaps fortunately
for posterity, to the calf-skin books, and was never called to the bar.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan, an Irishman even more brilliant, but
unfortunately far less prudent, than Burke, entered his name in the
Middle Temple books a few days before his elopement with Miss Linley.

"A wit," says Archdeacon Nares, in his pleasant book, "Heraldic
Anomalies," "once chalked the following lines on the Temple gate:"--

    "As by the Templars' hold you go,
      The horse and lamb display'd
    In emblematic figures show
      The merits of their trade.

    "The clients may infer from thence
      How just is their profession;
    The lamb sets forth their innocence,
      The horse their expedition.

    "Oh, happy Britons! happy isle!
      Let foreign nations say,
    Where you get justice without guile
      And law without delay."

A rival wag replied to these lively lines by the following severer
ones:--

    "Deluded men, these holds forego,
      Nor trust such cunning elves;
    These artful emblems tend to show
      Their _clients_--not _themselves_.

    "'Tis all a trick; these are all shams
      By which they mean to cheat you:
    But have a care--for _you're_ the _lambs_,
      And they the _wolves_ that eat you.

    "Nor let the thought of 'no delay'
      To these their courts misguide you;
    'Tis you're the showy _horse_, and _they_
      The _jockeys_ that will ride you."

Hare Court is said to derive its name from Sir Nicholas Hare, who was
Privy Councillor to Henry VIII. the despotic, and Master of the Rolls to
Queen Mary the cruel. Heaven only knows what stern decisions and
anti-heretical indictments have not been drawn up in that quaint
enclosure. The immortal pump, which stands as a special feature of the
court, has been mentioned by the poet Garth in his "Dispensary:"--

    "And dare the college insolently aim,
    To equal our fraternity in fame?
    Then let crabs' eyes with pearl for virtue try,
    Or Highgate Hill with lofty Pindus vie;
    So glowworms may compare with Titan's beams,
    And Hare Court pump with Aganippe's streams."

In Essex Court one solitary barber remains: his shop is the last wigwam
of a departing tribe. Dick Danby's, in the cloisters, used to be famous.
In his "Lives of the Chief Justices," Lord Campbell has some pleasant
gossip about Dick Danby, the Temple barber. In our group of antiquities
of the Temple on page 163 will be found an engraving of the existing
barber's shop.

"One of the most intimate friends," he says, "I have ever had in the
world was Dick Danby, who kept a hairdresser's shop under the cloisters
in the Inner Temple. I first made his acquaintance from his assisting
me, when a student at law, to engage a set of chambers. He afterwards
cut my hair, made my bar wigs, and aided me at all times with his
valuable advice. He was on the same good terms with most of my forensic
contemporaries. Thus he became master of all the news of the profession,
and he could tell who were getting on, and who were without a brief--who
succeeded by their talents, and who hugged the attorneys--who were
desirous of becoming puisne judges, and who meant to try their fortunes
in Parliament--which of the chiefs was in a failing state of health, and
who was next to be promoted to the collar of S.S. Poor fellow! he died
suddenly, and his death threw a universal gloom over Westminster Hall,
unrelieved by the thought that the survivors who mourned him might pick
up some of his business--a consolation which wonderfully softens the
grief felt for a favourite Nisi Prius leader."

In spite of all the great lawyers who have been nurtured in the Temple,
it has derived its chief fame from the residence within its precincts of
three civilians--Dr. Johnson, Goldsmith, and Charles Lamb.

Dr. Johnson came to the Temple (No. 1, Inner Temple Lane) from Gray's
Inn in 1760, and left it for Johnson's Court (Fleet Street) about 1765.
When he first came to the Temple he was loitering over his edition of
"Shakespeare." In 1762 a pension of £300 a year for the first time made
him independent of the booksellers. In 1763 Boswell made his
acquaintance and visited Ursa Major in his den.

"It must be confessed," says Boswell, "that his apartments, furniture,
and morning dress were sufficiently uncouth. His brown suit of clothes
looked very rusty; he had on a little old shrivelled, unpowdered wig,
which was too small for his head; his shirt neck and the knees of his
breeches were loose, his black worsted stockings ill drawn up, and he
had a pair of unbuckled shoes by way of slippers."

At this time Johnson generally went abroad at four in the afternoon, and
seldom came home till two in the morning. He owned it was a bad habit.
He generally had a levee of morning visitors, chiefly men of
letters--Hawkesworth, Goldsmith, Murphy, Langton, Stevens, Beauclerk,
&c.--and sometimes learned ladies. "When Madame de Boufflers (the
mistress of the Prince of Conti) was first in England," said Beauclerk,
"she was desirous to see Johnson. I accordingly went with her to his
chambers in the Temple, where she was entertained with his conversation
for some time. When our visit was over, she and I left him, and were got
into Inner Temple Lane, when all at once I heard a voice like thunder.
This was occasioned by Johnson, who, it seems, upon a little reflection,
had taken it into his head that he ought to have done the honours of his
literary residence to a foreign lady of quality, and, eager to show
himself a man of gallantry, was hurrying down the staircase in violent
agitation. He overtook us before we reached the Temple Gate, and,
brushing in between me and Madame de Boufflers, seized her hand and
conducted her to her coach. His dress was a rusty-brown morning suit, a
pair of old shoes by way of slippers, &c. A considerable crowd of people
gathered round, and were not a little struck by his singular
appearance."

It was in the year 1763, while Johnson was living in the Temple, that
the Literary Club was founded; and it was in the following year that
this wise and good man was seized with one of those fits of hypochondria
that occasionally weighed upon that great intellect. Boswell had
chambers, not far from the god of his idolatry, at what were once called
"Farrar's Buildings," at the bottom of Inner Temple Lane.

[Illustration: OLIVER GOLDSMITH (_see page 167_).]

Charles Lamb came to 4, Inner Temple Lane, in 1809. Writing to
Coleridge, the delightful humorist says:--"I have been turned out of my
chambers in the Temple by a landlord who wanted them for himself; but I
have got others at No. 4, Inner Temple Lane, far more commodious and
roomy. I have two rooms on the third floor, and five rooms above, with
an inner staircase to myself, and all new painted, &c., for £30 a year.
The rooms are delicious, and the best look backwards into Hare Court,
where there is a pump always going; just now it is dry. Hare Court's
trees come in at the window, so that it's like living in a garden." In
1810 he says:--"The household gods are slow to come; but here I mean to
live and die." From this place (since pulled down and rebuilt) he writes
to Manning, who is in China:--"Come, and bring any of your friends the
mandarins with you. My best room commands a court, in which there are
trees and a pump, the water of which is excellent, cold--with brandy;
and not very insipid without." He sends Manning some of his little
books, to give him "some idea of European literature." It is in this
letter that he speaks of Braham and his singing, and jokes "on titles of
honour," exemplifying the eleven gradations, by which Mr. C. Lamb rose
in succession to be Baron, Marquis, Duke, Emperor Lamb, and finally Pope
Innocent; and other lively matters fit to solace an English
mathematician self-banished to China. The same year Mary Lamb describes
her brother taking to water like a hungry otter--abstaining from all
spirituous liquors, but with the most indifferent result, as he became
full of cramps and rheumatism, and so cold internally that fire could
not warm him. It is but just to Lamb to mention that this ascetic
period was brief. This same year Lamb wrote his fine essays on Hogarth
and the tragedies of Shakespeare. He was already getting weary of the
dull routine of official work at the India House.

[Illustration: GOLDSMITH'S TOMB IN 1860 (_see page 171_).]

Goldsmith came to the Temple, early in 1764, from Wine Office Court. It
was a hard year with him, though he published "The Traveller," and
opened fruitless negotiations with Dodsley and Tonson. "He took," says
Mr. Forster, "rooms on the then library-staircase of the Temple. They
were a humble set of chambers enough (one Jeffs, the butler of the
society, shared them with him), and on Johnson's prying and peering
about in them, after his short-sighted fashion flattening his face
against every object he looked at, Goldsmith's uneasy sense of their
deficiencies broke out. 'I shall soon be in better chambers, sir, than
these,' he said. 'Nay, sir,' answered Johnson, 'never mind that--_nil te
quæsiveris extra_.'" He soon hurried off to the quiet of Islington, as
some say, to secretly write the erudite history of "Goody Two-Shoes" for
Newbery. In 1765 various publications, or perhaps the money for "The
Vicar," enabled the author to move to larger chambers in Garden Court,
close to his first set, and one of the most agreeable localities in the
Temple. He now carried out his threat to Johnson--started a man-servant,
and ran into debt with his usual gay and thoughtless vanity to Mr.
Filby, the tailor, of Water Lane, for coats of divers colours. Goldsmith
began to feel his importance, and determined to show it. In 1766 "The
Vicar of Wakefield" (price five shillings, sewed) secured his fame, but
he still remained in difficulties. In 1767 he wrote The _Good-Natured
Man_, knocked off an English Grammar for five guineas, and was only
saved from extreme want by Davies employing him to write a "History of
Rome" for 250 guineas. In 1767 Parson Scott (Lord Sandwich's chaplain),
busily going about to negotiate for writers, describes himself as
applying to Goldsmith; among others, to induce him to write in favour
of the Administration. "I found him," he said, "in a miserable set of
chambers in the Temple. I told him my authority; I told him that I was
empowered to pay most liberally for his exertions; and--would you
believe it!--he was so absurd as to say, 'I can earn as much as will
supply my wants without writing for any party; the assistance you offer
is therefore unnecessary to me.' And so I left him," added the Rev. Dr.
Scott, indignantly, "in his garret."

On the partial success of _The Good-Natured Man_ (January, 1768),
Goldsmith, having cleared £500, broke out like a successful gambler. He
purchased a set of chambers (No. 2, up two pairs of stairs, in Brick
Court) for £400, squandered the remaining £100, ran in debt to his
tailor, and borrowed of Mr. Bolt, a man on the same floor. He purchased
Wilton carpets, blue merino curtains, chimney-glasses, book-cases, and
card-tables, and, by the aid of Filby, enrobed him in a suit of Tyrian
bloom, satin grain, with darker blue silk breeches, price £8 2s. 7d.,
and he even ventured at a more costly suit, lined with silk and
ornamented with gilt buttons. Below him lived that learned lawyer, Mr.
Blackstone, then poring over the fourth volume of his precious
"Commentaries," and the noise and dancing overhead nearly drove him mad,
as it also did a Mr. Children, who succeeded him. What these noises
arose from, Mr. Forster relates in his delightful biography of the poet.
An Irish merchant named Seguin "remembered dinners at which Johnson,
Percy, Bickerstaff, Kelly, 'and a variety of authors of minor note,'
were guests. They talked of supper-parties with younger people, as well
in the London chambers as in suburban lodgings; preceded by blind-man's
buff, forfeits, or games of cards; and where Goldsmith, festively
entertaining them all, would make frugal supper for himself off boiled
milk. They related how he would sing all kinds of Irish songs; with what
special enjoyment he gave the Scotch ballad of 'Johnny Armstrong' (his
old nurse's favourite); how cheerfully he would put the front of his wig
behind, or contribute in any other way to the general amusement; and to
what accompaniment of uncontrolled laughter he once 'danced a minuet
with Mrs. Seguin.'"

In 1768 appeared "The Deserted Village." It was about this time that one
of Goldy's Grub Street acquaintances called upon him, whilst he was
conversing with Topham Beauclerk, and General Oglethorpe, and the
fellow, telling Goldsmith that he was sorry he could not pay the two
guineas he owed him, offered him a quarter of a pound of tea and half a
pound of sugar as an acknowledgment. "1769. Goldsmith fell in love with
Mary Horneck known as the 'Jessamy Bride.' Unfortunately he obtained an
advance of £500 for his 'Natural History,' and wholly expended it when
only six chapters were written." In 1771 he published his "History of
England." It was in this year that Reynolds, coming one day to Brick
Court, perhaps about the portrait of Goldsmith he had painted the year
before, found the mercurial poet kicking a bundle, which contained a
masquerade dress, about the room, in disgust at his folly in wasting
money in so foolish a way. In 1772, Mr. Forster mentions a very
characteristic story of Goldsmith's warmth of heart. He one day found a
poor Irish student (afterwards Dr. M'Veagh M'Donnell, a well-known
physician) sitting and moping in despair on a bench in the Temple
Gardens. Goldsmith soon talked and laughed him into hope and spirits,
then taking him off to his chambers, employed him to translate some
chapters of Buffon. In 1773 _She Stoops to Conquer_ made a great hit;
but Noll was still writing at hack-work, and was deeper in debt than
ever. In 1774, when Goldsmith was still grinding on at his hopeless
drudge-work, as far from the goal of fortune as ever, and even resolving
to abandon London life, with all its temptations, Mr. Forster relates
that Johnson, dining with the poet, Reynolds, and some one else,
silently reproved the extravagance of so expensive a dinner by sending
away the whole second course untouched.

In March, 1774, Goldsmith returned from Edgware to the Temple chambers,
which he was trying to sell, suffering from a low nervous fever, partly
the result of vexation at his pecuniary embarrassments. Mr. Hawes, an
apothecary in the Strand (and one of the first founders of the Humane
Society), was called in; but Goldsmith insisted on taking James's
fever-powders, a valuable medicine, but dangerous under the
circumstances. This was Friday, the 25th. He told the doctor then his
mind was not at ease, and he died on Monday, April 4th, in his
forty-fifth year. His debts amounted to over £2,000. "Was ever poet so
trusted before?" writes Johnson to Boswell. The staircase of Brick Court
was filled with poor outcasts, to whom Goldsmith had been kind and
charitable. His coffin was opened by Miss Horneck, that a lock might be
cut from his hair. Burke and Reynolds superintended the funeral,
Reynolds' nephew (Palmer, afterwards Dean of Cashel) being chief
mourner. Hugh Kelly, who had so often lampooned the poet, was present.
At five o'clock on Saturday, the 9th of April, Goldsmith was buried in
the Temple churchyard. In 1837, a slab of white marble, to the kindly
poet's memory, was placed in the Temple Church, and afterwards
transferred to a recess of the vestry chamber. Of the poet, Mr. Forster
says, "no memorial indicates the grave to the pilgrim or the stranger,
nor is it possible any longer to identify the spot which received all
that was mortal of the delightful writer." The present site is entirely
conjectural; but it appears from the following note, communicated to us
by T.C. Noble, the well-known City antiquary, that the real site was
remembered as late as 1830. Mr. Noble says:--

"In 1842, after some consideration, the benchers of the Temple deciding
that no more burials should take place in the churchyard, resolved to
pave it over. For about fifteen years the burial-place of Dr. Goldsmith
continued in obscurity; for while some would have it that the interment
took place to the east of the choir, others clung to an opinion, handed
down by Mr. Broome, the gardener, who stated that when he commenced his
duties, about 1830, a Mr. Collett, sexton, a very old man, and a
penurious one, too, employed him to prune an elder-tree which, he
stated, he venerated, because it marked the site of Goldsmith's grave.
The stone which has been placed in the yard, 'to mark the spot' where
the poet was buried, is not the site of this tree. The tomb was erected
in 1860, but the exact position of the grave has never been discovered."
The engraving on page 169 shows the spot as it appeared in the autumn of
that year. The old houses at the back were pulled down soon after.

Mr. Forster, alluding to Goldsmith's love for the rooks, the former
denizens of the Temple Gardens, says: "He saw the rookery (in the winter
deserted, or guarded only by some five or six, 'like old soldiers in a
garrison') resume its activity and bustle in the spring; and he
moralised, like a great reformer, on the legal constitution established,
the social laws enforced, and the particular castigations endured for
the good of the community, by those black-dressed and black-eyed
chatterers. 'I have often amused myself,' Goldsmith remarks, 'with
observing their plans of policy from my window in the Temple, that looks
upon a grove where they have made a colony, in the midst of the city.'"




CHAPTER XVI.

THE TEMPLE (_continued_).

    Fountain Court and the Temple Fountain--Ruth Pinch--L.E.L.'s
    Poem--Fig-tree Court--The Inner Temple Library--Paper Buildings--The
    Temple Gate--Guildford North and Jeffreys--Cowper, the Poet: his
    Melancholy and Attempted Suicide--A Tragedy in Tanfield Court--Lord
    Mansfield--"Mr. Murray" and his Client--Lamb's Pictures of the
    Temple--The Sun-dials--Porson and his Eccentricities--Rules of the
    Temple--Coke and his Labours--Temple Riots--Scuffles with the
    Alsatians--Temple Dinners--"Calling" to the Bar--The Temple
    Gardens--The Chrysanthemums--Sir Matthew Hale's Tree--Revenues of
    the Temple--Temple Celebrities.


Lives there a man with soul so dead as to write about the Temple without
mentioning the little fountain in Fountain Court?--that pet and
plaything of the Temple, that, like a little fairy, sings to beguile the
cares of men oppressed with legal duties. It used to look like a
wagoner's silver whip--now a modern writer cruelly calls it "a pert
squirt." In Queen Anne's time Hatton describes it as forcing its stream
"to a vast and almost incredible altitude"--it is now only ten feet
high, no higher than a giant lord chancellor. Then it was fenced with
palisades--now it is caged in iron; then it stood in a square--now it is
in a round. But it still sparkles and glitters, and sprinkles and
playfully splashes the jaunty sparrows that come to wash off the London
dust in its variegated spray. It is quite careless now, however, of
notice, for has it not been immortalised by the pen of Dickens, who has
made it the centre of one of his most charming love scenes? It was in
Fountain Court, our readers will like to remember, that Ruth
Pinch--gentle, loving Ruth--met her lover, by the merest accident of
course.

"There was," says Mr. Dickens, "a little plot between them that Tom
should always come out of the Temple by one way, and that was past the
fountain. Coming through Fountain Court, he was just to glance down the
steps leading into Garden Court, and to look once all round him; and if
Ruth had come to meet him, there he would see her--not sauntering, you
understand (on account of the clerks), but coming briskly up, with the
best little laugh upon her face that ever played in opposition to the
fountain and beat it all to nothing. For, fifty to one, Tom had been
looking for her in the wrong direction, and had quite given her up,
while she had been tripping towards him from the first, jingling that
little reticule of hers (with all the keys in it) to attract his
wondering observation.

"Whether there was life enough left in the slow vegetation of Fountain
Court for the smoky shrubs to have any consciousness of the brightest
and purest-hearted little woman in the world, is a question for
gardeners and those who are learned in the loves of plants. But that it
was a good thing for that same paved yard to have such a delicate little
figure flitting through it, that it passed like a smile from the grimy
old houses and the worn flagstones, and left them duller, darker,
sterner than before, there is no sort of doubt. The Temple fountain
might have leaped up twenty feet to greet the spring of hopeful
maidenhood that in her person stole on, sparkling, through the dry and
dusty channels of the law; the chirping sparrows, bred in Temple chinks
and crannies, might have held their peace to listen to imaginary
skylarks as so fresh a little creature passed; the dingy boughs, unused
to droop, otherwise than in their puny growth, might have bent down in a
kindred gracefulness to shed their benedictions on her graceful head;
old love-letters, shut up in iron boxes in the neighbouring offices, and
made of no account among the heaps of family papers into which they had
strayed, and of which in their degeneracy they formed a part, might have
stirred and fluttered with a moment's recollection of their ancient
tenderness, as she went lightly by. Anything might have happened that
did not happen, and never will, for the love of Ruth....

"Merrily the tiny fountain played, and merrily the dimples sparkled on
its sunny face. John Westlock hurried after her. Softly the whispering
water broke and fell, and roguishly the dimples twinkled as he stole
upon her footsteps.

"Oh, foolish, panting, timid little heart! why did she feign to be
unconscious of his coming?...

"Merrily the fountain leaped and danced, and merrily the smiling dimples
twinkled and expanded more and more, until they broke into a laugh
against the basin's rim and vanished."

"L.E.L." (Miss Landon) has left a graceful poem on this much-petted
fountain, which begins,--

    "The fountain's low singing is heard on the wind,
    Like a melody, bringing sweet fancies to mind--
    Some to grieve, some to gladden; around them they cast
    The hopes of the morrow, the dreams of the past.
    Away in the distance is heard the vast sound
    From the streets of the city that compass it round,
    Like the echo of fountains or ocean's deep call;
    Yet that fountain's low singing is heard over all."

Fig-tree Court derived its name from obvious sources. Next to the
plane, that has the strange power of sloughing off its sooty bark, the
fig seems the tree that best endures London's corrupted atmosphere.
Thomas Fairchild, a Hoxton gardener, who wrote in 1722 (quoted by Mr.
Peter Cunningham), alludes to figs ripening well in the Rolls Gardens,
Chancery Lane, and to the tree thriving in close places about Bridewell.
Who can say that some Templar pilgrim did not bring from the banks of
"Abana or Pharpar, rivers of Damascus," the first leafy inhabitant of
inky and dusty Fig-tree Court? Lord Thurlow was living here in 1758, the
year he was called to the bar, and when, it was said, he had not money
enough even to hire a horse to attend the circuit.

The Inner Temple Library stands on the terrace facing the river. The
Parliament Chambers and Hall, in the Tudor style, were the work of
Sidney Smirke, R.A., in 1835. The library, designed by Mr. Abrahams, is
96 feet long, 42 feet wide, and 63 feet high; it has a hammer-beam roof.
One of the stained glass windows is blazoned with the arms of the
Templars. Below the library are chambers. The cost of the whole was
about £13,000. The north window is thought to too much resemble the
great window at Westminster.

Paper Buildings, a name more suitable for the offices of some City
companies, were first built in the reign of James I., by a Mr. Edward
Hayward and others; and the learned Dugdale describes them as
eighty-eight feet long, twenty feet broad, and four storeys high. This
Hayward was Selden's chamber-fellow, and to him Selden dedicated his
"Titles of Honour." Selden, according to Aubrey, had chambers in these
pleasant river-side buildings, looking towards the gardens, and in the
uppermost storey he had a little gallery, to pace in and meditate. The
Great Fire swept away Selden's chambers, and their successors were
destroyed by the fire which broke out in Mr. Maule's chambers. Coming
home at night from a dinner-party, that gentleman, it is said, put the
lighted candle under his bed by mistake. The stately new buildings were
designed by Mr. Sidney Smirke, A.R.A., in 1848. The red brick and stone
harmonise pleasantly, and the overhanging oriels and angle turrets
(Continental Tudor) are by no means ineffective.

The entrance to the Middle Temple from Fleet Street is a gatehouse of
red brick pointed with stone, and is the work of Wren. It was erected in
1684, after the Great Fire, and is in the style of Inigo Jones--"not
inelegant," says Ralph. It probably occupies the site of the gatehouse
erected by order of Wolsey, at the expense of his prisoner, Sir Amyas
Paulet. The frightened man covered the front with the cardinal's hat and
arms, hoping to appease Wolsey's anger by gratifying his pride. The
Inner Temple gateway was built in the fifth year of James I.

Elm Court was built in the sixth year of Charles I. Up one pair of
stairs that successful courtier, Guildford North, whom Jeffreys so
tormented by the rumour that he had been seen riding on a rhinoceros,
then exhibiting in London, commenced the practice that soon won him such
high honours.

In 1752 the poet Cowper, on leaving a solicitor's office, had chambers
in the Middle Temple, and in that solitude the horror of his future
malady began to darken over him. He gave up the classics, which had been
his previous delight, and read George Herbert's poems all day long. In
1759, after his father's death, he purchased another set of rooms for
£250, in an airy situation in the Inner Temple. He belonged, at this
time, to the "Nonsense Club," of which Bonnell Thornton, Colman junior,
and Lloyd were members. Thurlow also was his friend. In 1763 his
despondency deepened into insanity. An approaching appointment to the
clerkship of the Journals of the House of Lords overwhelmed him with
nervous fears. Dreading to appear in public, he resolved to destroy
himself. He purchased laudanum, then threw it away. He packed up his
portmanteau to go to France and enter a monastery. He went down to the
Custom House Quay, to throw himself into the river. He tried to stab
himself. At last the poor fellow actually hung himself, and was only
saved by an accident. The following is his own relation:--

"Not one hesitating thought now remained, but I fell greedily to the
execution of my purpose. My garter was made of a broad piece of scarlet
binding, with a sliding buckle, being sewn together at the ends. By the
help of the buckle I formed a noose, and fixed it about my neck,
straining it so tight that I hardly left a passage for my breath, or for
the blood to circulate. The tongue of the buckle held it fast. At each
corner of the bed was placed a wreath of carved work fastened by an iron
pin, which passed up through the midst of it; the other part of the
garter, which made a loop, I slipped over one of them, and hung by it
some seconds, drawing up my feet under me, that they might not touch the
floor; but the iron bent, and the carved work slipped off, and the
garter with it. I then fastened it to the frame of the tester, winding
it round and tying it in a strong knot. The frame broke short, and let
me down again.

"The third effort was more likely to succeed. I set the door open,
which reached to within a foot of the ceiling. By the help of a chair I
could command the top of it, and the loop being large enough to admit a
large angle of the door, was easily fixed, so as not to slip off again.
I pushed away the chair with my feet; and hung at my whole length. While
I hung there I distinctly heard a voice say three times, 'Tis over!'
Though I am sure of the fact, and was so at the time, yet it did not at
all alarm me or affect my resolution. I hung so long that I lost all
sense, all consciousness of existence.

"When I came to myself again I thought I was in hell; the sound of my
own dreadful groans was all that I heard, and a feeling like that
produced by a flash of lightning just beginning to seize upon me, passed
over my whole body. In a few seconds I found myself fallen on my face to
the floor. In about half a minute I recovered my feet, and reeling and
struggling, stumbled into bed again.

"By the blessed providence of God, the garter which had held me till the
bitterness of temporal death was past broke just before eternal death
had taken place upon me. The stagnation of the blood under one eye in a
broad crimson spot, and a red circle round my neck, showed plainly that
I had been on the brink of eternity. The latter, indeed, might have been
occasioned by the pressure of the garter, but the former was certainly
the effect of strangulation, for it was not attended with the sensation
of a bruise, as it must have been had I in my fall received one in so
tender a part; and I rather think the circle round my neck was owing to
the same cause, for the part was not excoriated, nor at all in pain.

"Soon after I got into bed I was surprised to hear a voice in the
dining-room, where the laundress was lighting a fire. She had found the
door unbolted, notwithstanding my design to fasten it, and must have
passed the bed-chamber door while I was hanging on it, and yet never
perceived me. She heard me fall, and presently came to ask me if I was
well, adding, she feared I had been in a fit.

"I sent her to a friend, to whom I related the whole affair, and
dispatched him to my kinsman at the coffee-house. As soon as the latter
arrived I pointed to the broken garter which lay in the middle of the
room, and apprised him also of the attempt I had been making. His words
were, 'My dear Mr. Cowper, you terrify me! To be sure you cannot hold
the office at this rate. Where is the deputation?' I gave him the key of
the drawer where it was deposited, and his business requiring his
immediate attendance, he took it away with him; and thus ended all my
connection with the Parliament office."

[Illustration: THE TEMPLE FOUNTAIN, FROM AN OLD PRINT (_see page 171_).]

In February, 1732, Tanfield Court, a quiet, dull nook on the east side
of the Temple, to the south of that sombre Grecian temple where the
Master resides, was the scene of a very horrible crime. Sarah Malcolm, a
laundress, aged twenty-two, employed by a young barrister named Kerrol
in the same court, gaining access to the rooms of an old lady named
Duncomb, whom she knew to have money, strangled her and an old servant,
and cut the throat of a young girl, whose bed she had probably shared.
Some of her blood-stained linen, and a silver tankard of Mrs. Duncomb's,
stained with blood, were found by Mr. Kerrol concealed in his chambers.
Fifty-three pounds of the money were discovered at Newgate hidden in the
prisoner's hair. She confessed to a share in the robbery, but laid the
murder to two lads with whom she was acquainted. She was, however, found
guilty, and hung opposite Mitre Court, Fleet Street. The crowd was so
great that one woman crossed from near Serjeants' Inn to the other side
of the way on the shoulders of the mob. Sarah Malcolm went to execution
neatly dressed in a crape gown, held up her head in the cart with an
air, and seemed to be painted. A copy of her confession was sold for
twenty guineas. Two days before her execution she dressed in scarlet,
and sat to Hogarth for a sketch, which Horace Walpole bought for £5. The
portrait represents a cruel, thin-lipped woman, not uncomely, sitting at
a table. The Duke of Roxburghe purchased a perfect impression of this
print, Mr. Timbs says, for £8 5s. Its original price was sixpence. After
her execution the corpse was taken to an undertaker's on Snow Hill, and
there exhibited for money. Among the rest, a gentleman in deep
mourning--perhaps her late master, Mr. Kerrol--stooped and kissed it,
and gave the attendant half-a-crown. She was, by special favour (for
superiority even in wickedness has its admirers), buried in St.
Sepulchre's Churchyard, from which criminals had been excluded for a
century and a half. The corpse of the murderess was disinterred, and her
skeleton, in a glass case, is still to be seen at the Botanic Garden,
Cambridge.

[Illustration: A SCUFFLE BETWEEN TEMPLARS AND ALSATIANS (_see page
179_).]

Not many recorded crimes have taken place in the Temple, for youth,
however poor, is hopeful. It takes time to make a man despair, and when
he despairs, the devil is soon at his elbow. Nevertheless, greed and
madness have upset some Templars' brains. In October, 1573, a crazed,
fanatical man of the Middle Temple, named Peter Burchet, mistaking John
Hawkins (afterwards the naval hero) for Sir Christopher Hatton, flew at
him in the Strand, and dangerously wounded him with a dagger. The queen
was so furious that at first she wanted Burchet tried by camp law; but,
being found to hold heretical opinions, he was committed to the
Lollards' Tower (south front of St. Paul's), and afterwards sent to the
Tower. Growing still madder there, Burchet slew one of his keepers with
a billet from his fire, and was then condemned to death and hung in the
Strand, close by where he had stabbed Hawkins, his right hand being
first stricken off and nailed to the gibbet.

In 1685 John Ayloff, a barrister of the Inner Temple, was hung for high
treason opposite the Temple Gate.

In 1738 Thomas Carr, an attorney, of Elm Court, and Elizabeth Adams, his
accomplice, were executed for robbing a Mr. Quarrington in Shire Lane
(see page 74); and in 1752 Henry Justice, of the Middle Temple, in spite
of his well-omened name, was cruelly sentenced to death for stealing
books from the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, but eventually he
was only transported for life.

The celebrated Earl of Mansfield, when Mr. Murray, had chambers at No.
5, King's Bench Walk, _apropos_ of which Pope wrote--

    "To Number Five direct your doves,
    There spread round Murray all your blooming loves."

        (Pope "to Venus," from "Horace.")

A second compliment by Pope to this great man occasioned a famous
parody:--

    "Graced as thou art by all the power of words,
    So known, so honoured at the House of Lords"

        (Pope, of Lord Mansfield);

which was thus cleverly parodied by Colley Cibber:

    "Persuasion tips his tongue whene'er he talks,
    And he has chambers in the King's Bench Walks."

One of Mansfield's biographers tells us that "once he was surprised by a
gentleman of Lincoln's Inn (who took the liberty of entering his room in
the Temple without the ceremonious introduction of a servant), in the
act of practising the graces of a speaker at a glass, while Pope sat by
in the character of a friendly preceptor." Of the friendship of Pope and
Murray, Warburton has said: "Mr. Pope had all the warmth of affection
for this great lawyer; and, indeed, no man ever more deserved to have a
poet for his friend, in the obtaining of which, as neither vanity,
party, nor fear had a share, so he supported his title to it by all the
offices of a generous and true friendship."

"A good story," says Mr. Jeaffreson, "is told of certain visits paid to
William Murray's chambers at No. 5, King's Bench Walk, Temple, in the
year 1738. Born in 1705, Murray was still a young man when, in 1738, he
made his brilliant speech on behalf of Colonel Sloper, against whom
Colley Cibber's rascally son had brought an action for immorality with
his wife, the lovely actress, who on the stage was the rival of Mrs.
Clive, and in private life was remarkable for immorality and fascinating
manners. Amongst the many clients who were drawn to Murray by that
speech, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, was neither the least powerful
nor the least distinguished. Her grace began by sending the rising
advocate a general retainer, with a fee of a thousand guineas, of which
sum he accepted only the two-hundredth part, explaining to the
astonished duchess that 'the professional fee, with a general retainer,
could not be less nor more than five guineas.' If Murray had accepted
the whole sum he would not have been overpaid for his trouble, for her
grace persecuted him with calls at most unseasonable hours. On one
occasion, returning to his chambers after 'drinking champagne with the
wits,' he found the duchess's carriage and attendants on King's Bench
Walk. A numerous crowd of footmen and link-bearers surrounded the coach,
and when the barrister entered his chambers he encountered the mistress
of that army of lackeys. 'Young man,' exclaimed the grand lady, eyeing
the future Lord Mansfield with a look of displeasure, 'if you mean to
rise in the world, you must not sup out.' On a subsequent night Sarah of
Marlborough called without appointment at the chambers, and waited till
past midnight in the hope that she would see the lawyer ere she went to
bed. But Murray, being at an unusually late supper-party, did not return
till her grace had departed in an overpowering rage. 'I could not make
out, sir, who she was,' said Murray's clerk, describing her grace's
appearance and manner, 'for she would not tell me her name; _but she
swore so dreadfully that I am sure she must be a lady of quality_.'"

Charles Lamb, who was born in Crown Office Row, in his exquisite way has
sketched the benchers of the Temple whom he had seen pacing the terrace
in his youth. Jekyll, with the roguish eye, and Thomas Coventry, of the
elephantine step, the scarecrow of inferiors, the browbeater of equals,
who made a solitude of children wherever he came, who took snuff by
palmfuls, diving for it under the mighty flap of his old-fashioned red
waistcoat. In the gentle Samuel Salt we discover a portrait of the
employer of Lamb's father. Salt was a shy indolent, absent man, who
never dressed for a dinner party but he forgot his sword. The day of
Miss Blandy's execution he went to dine with a relative of the
murderess, first carefully schooled by his clerk to avoid the
disagreeable subject. However, during the pause for dinner, Salt went to
the window, looked out, pulled down his ruffles, and observed, "It's a
gloomy day; Miss Blandy must be hanged by this time, I suppose." Salt
never laughed. He was a well-known toast with the ladies, having a fine
figure and person. Coventry, on the other hand, was a man worth four or
five hundred thousand, and lived in a gloomy house, like a strong box,
opposite the pump in Serjeants' Inn, Fleet Street. Fond of money as he
was, he gave away £30,000 at once to a charity for the blind, and kept a
hospitable house. Salt was indolent and careless of money, and but for
Lovel, his clerk, would have been universally robbed. This Lovel was a
clever little fellow, with a face like Garrick, who could mould heads in
clay, turn cribbage-boards, take a hand at a quadrille or bowls, and
brew punch with any man of his degree in Europe. With Coventry and Salt,
Peter Pierson often perambulated the terrace, with hands folded behind
him. Contemporary with these was Daines Barrington, a burly, square man.
Lamb also mentions Burton, "a jolly negation," who drew up the bills of
fare for the parliament chamber, where the benchers dined; thin, fragile
Wharry, who used to spitefully pinch his cat's ears when anything
offended him; and Jackson, the musician, to whom the cook once applied
for instructions how to write down "edge-bone of beef" in a bill of
commons. Then there was Blustering Mingay, who had a grappling-hook in
substitute for a hand he had lost, which Lamb, when a child, used to
take for an emblem of power; and Baron Mascres, who retained the costume
of the reign of George II.

In his "Essays," Lamb says:--"I was born and passed the first seven
years of my life in the Temple. Its church, its halls, its gardens, its
fountain, its river I had almost said--for in those young years what was
the king of rivers to me but a stream that watered our pleasant
places?--these are of my oldest recollections. I repeat, to this day, no
verses to myself more frequently or with kindlier emotion than those of
Spenser where he speaks of this spot. Indeed, it is the most elegant
spot in the metropolis. What a transition for a countryman visiting
London for the first time--the passing from the crowded Strand or Fleet
Street, by unexpected avenues, into its magnificent, ample squares, its
classic green recesses! What a cheerful, liberal look hath that portion
of it which, from three sides, overlooks the greater garden, that goodly
pile

    'Of buildings strong, albeit of paper hight,'

confronting with massy contrast, the lighter, older, more fantastically
shrouded one named of Harcourt, with the cheerful Crown Office Row
(place of my kindly engendure), right opposite the stately stream, which
washes the garden foot with her yet scarcely trade--polluted waters, and
seems but just weaned from Twickenham Naïades! A man would give
something to have been born in such places. What a collegiate aspect has
that fine Elizabethan hall, where the fountain plays, which I have made
to rise and fall, how many times! to the astonishment of the young
urchins, my contemporaries, who, not being able to guess at its
recondite machinery, were almost tempted to hail the wondrous work as
magic...."

"So may the winged horse, your ancient badge and cognisance, still
flourish! So may future Hookers and Seldens illustrate your church and
chambers! So may the sparrows, in default of more melodious quiristers,
imprisoned hop about your walks! So may the fresh-coloured and cleanly
nursery-maid, who by leave airs her playful charge in your stately
gardens, drop her prettiest blushing curtsey as ye pass, reductive of
juvenescent emotion! So may the younkers of this generation eye you,
pacing your stately terrace, with the same superstitious veneration with
which the child Elia gazed on the old worthies that solemnised the
parade before ye!"

Charles Lamb, in his "Essay" on the old benchers, speaks of many changes
he had witnessed in the Temple--_i.e._, the Gothicising the entrance to
the Inner Temple Hall and the Library front, to assimilate them to the
hall, which they did not resemble; to the removal of the winged horse
over the Temple Hall, and the frescoes of the Virtues which once
Italianised it. He praises, too, the antique air of the "now almost
effaced sun-dials," with their moral inscriptions, seeming almost coeval
with the time which they measured, and taking their revelations
immediately from heaven, holding correspondence with the fountain of
light. Of these dials there still remain--one in Temple Lane, with the
motto, "Pereunt et imputantur;" one in Essex Court, "Vestigia nulla
retrorsum;" and one in Brick Court on which Goldsmith must often have
gazed--the motto, "Time and tide tarry for no man." In Pump Court and
Garden Court are two dials without mottoes; and in each Temple garden is
a pillar dial--"the natural garden god of Christian gardens." On an old
brick house at the east end of Inner Temple Terrace, removed in 1828,
was a dial with the odd inscription, "Begone about your business," words
with which an old bencher is said to have once dismissed a troublesome
lad who had come from the dial-maker's for a motto, and who mistook his
meaning. The one we have engraved at page 180 is in Pump Court. The date
and the initials are renewed every time it is fresh painted.

There are many old Temple anecdotes relating to that learned disciple of
Bacchus, Porson. Many a time (says Mr. Timbs), at early morn, did Porson
stagger from his old haunt, the "Cider Cellars" in Maiden Lane, where he
scarcely ever failed to pass some hours, after spending the evening
elsewhere. It is related of him, upon better authority than most of the
stories told to his discredit, that one night, or rather morning, Gurney
(the Baron), who had chambers in Essex Court under Porson's, was
awakened by a tremendous thump in the chamber above. Porson had just
come home dead drunk, and had fallen on the floor. Having extinguished
the candle in the fall, he presently staggered downstairs to re-light
it, and Gurney heard him dodging and poking with the candle at the
staircase lamp for about five minutes, and all the time very lustily
cursing the nature of things.

We read also of Porson's shutting himself up in these chambers for three
or four days together, admitting no visitor. One morning his friend
Rogers went to call, having ascertained from the barber's hard by that
Porson was at home, but had not been seen by any one for two days.
Rogers proceeded to his chambers, and knocked at the door more than
once; he would not open it, and Rogers came downstairs, but as he was
crossing the court Porson opened the window and stopped him. He was then
busy about the Grenville "Homer," for which he collated the Harleian MS.
of the "Odyssey," and received for his labour but £50 and a large-paper
copy. His chambers must have presented a strange scene, for he used
books most cruelly, whether they were his own or belonged to others. He
said that he possessed more _bad_ copies of _good_ books than any
private gentleman in England.

Rogers, when a Templar, occasionally had some visitors who absorbed more
of his time than was always agreeable; an instance of which he thus
relates: "When I lived in the Temple, Mackintosh and Richard Sharp used
to come to my chambers and stay there for hours, talking metaphysics.
One day they were so intent on their 'first cause,' 'spirit,' and
'matter,' that they were unconscious of my having left them, paid a
visit, and returned. I was a little angry at this; and to show my
indifference about them, I sat down and wrote letters, without taking
any notice of them. I never met a man with a fuller mind than
Mackintosh--such readiness on all subjects, such a talker."

Before any person can be admitted a member of the Temple, he must
furnish a statement in writing, describing his age, residence, and
condition in life, and adding a certificate of his respectability and
fitness, signed by himself and a bencher of the society, or two
barristers. The _Middle_ Temple requires the signatures of two
barristers of that Inn and of a bencher, but in each of the three other
Inns the signatures of barristers of any of the four Inns will suffice.
No person is admitted without the approbation of a bencher, or of the
benchers in council assembled.

The _Middle Temple_ includes the universities of Durham and London. At
the _Inner Temple_ the candidate for admission who has taken the degree
of B.A., or passed an examination at the Universities of Oxford,
Cambridge, or London, is required to pass an examination by a barrister,
appointed by the Bench for that purpose, in the Greek and Latin
languages, and history or literature in general. No person in priest's
or deacon's orders can be called to the bar. In the _Inner Temple_, an
attorney must have ceased to be on the rolls, and an articled clerk to
be in articles for _three years_, before he can be called to the bar.

Legal students worked hard in the old times; Coke's career is an
example. In 1572 he rose every morning at five o'clock, lighting his own
fire; and then read Bracton, Littleton, and the ponderous folio
abridgments of the law till the court met, at eight o'clock. He then
took boat for Westminster, and heard cases argued till twelve o'clock,
when the pleas ceased for dinner. After a meal in the Inner Temple Hall,
he attended "readings" or lectures in the afternoon, and then resumed
his private studies till supper-time at five. Next came the moots, after
which he slammed his chamber-door, and set to work with his commonplace
book to index all the law he had amassed during the day. At nine, the
steady student went to bed, securing three good hours of sleep before
midnight. It is said Coke never saw a play or read a play in his
life--and that was Shakespeare's time! In the reign of James I. the
Temple was often called "my Lord Coke's shop." He had become a great
lawyer then, and lived to become Lord Chief Justice. Pity 'tis that we
have to remember that he reviled Essex and insulted Raleigh. King James
once said of Coke in misfortune that he was like a cat, he always fell
on his feet.

History does not record many riots in the Temple, full of wild life as
that quiet precinct has been. In different reigns, however, two
outbreaks occurred. In both cases the Templars, though rather hot and
prompt, seem to have been right. At the dinner of John Prideaux, reader
of the Inner Temple, in 1553, the students took offence at Sir John
Lyon, the Lord Mayor, coming in state, with his sword up, and the sword
was dragged down as he passed through the cloisters. The same sort of
affray took place again in 1669, when Lord Mayor Peake came to Sir
Christopher Goodfellow's feast, and the Lord Mayor had to be hidden in a
bencher's chambers till, as Pepys relates, the fiery young sparks were
decoyed away to dinner. The case was tried before Charles II., and
Heneage Finch pleaded for the Temple, claiming immemorial exemption from
City jurisdiction. The case was never decided. From that day to this
(says Mr. Noble) a settlement appears never to have been made; hence it
is that the Temples claim to be "extra parochial," closing nightly all
their gates as the clock strikes ten, and keeping extra watch and ward
when the parochial authorities "beat the bounds" upon Ascension Day.
Many struggles have taken place to make the property rateable, and even
of late the question has once more arisen; and it is hardly to be
wondered at, for it would be a nice bit of business to assess the
Templars upon the £32,866 which they have returned as the annual rental
of their estates.

A third riot was with those ceaseless enemies of the Templars, the
Alsatians, or lawless inhabitants of disreputable Whitefriars. In July,
1691, weary of their riotous and thievish neighbours, the benchers of
the Inner Temple bricked up the gate (still existing in King's Bench
Walk) leading into the high street of Whitefriars; but the Alsatians,
swarming out, pulled down as fast as the bricklayers built up. The
Templars hurried together, swords flew out, the Alsatians plied pokers
and shovels, and many heads were broken. Ultimately, two men were
killed, several wounded, and many hurried off to prison. Eventually, the
ringleader of the Alsatians, Captain Francis White--a "copper captain,"
no doubt--was convicted of murder, in April, 1693. This riot eventually
did good, for it led to the abolition of London sanctuaries, those dens
of bullies, low gamblers, thieves, and courtesans.

As the Middle Temple has grown gradually poorer and more neglected, many
curious customs of the old banquets have died out. The loving cup, once
fragrant with sweetened sack, is now used to hold the almost superfluous
toothpicks. Oysters are no longer brought in, in term, every Friday
before dinner; nor when one bencher dines does he, on leaving the hall,
invite the senior bar man to come and take wine with him in the
parliament chamber (the accommodation-room of Oxford colleges). Yet the
rich and epicurean Inner Temple still cherishes many worthy customs,
affects _recherché_ French dishes, and is curious in _entremets_; while
the Middle Temple growls over its geological salad, that some hungry wit
has compared to "eating a gravel walk, and meeting an occasional weed."
A writer in _Blackwood_, quoting the old proverb, "The Inner Temple for
the rich, the Middle for the poor," says few great men have come from
the Middle Temple. How can acumen be derived from the scrag-end of a
neck of mutton, or inspiration from griskins? At a late dinner, says Mr.
Timbs (1865), there were present only three benchers, seven barristers,
and six students.

An Inner Temple banquet is a very grand thing. At five, or half-past
five, the barristers and students in their gowns follow the benchers in
procession to the dais; the steward strikes the table solemnly a mystic
three times, grace is said by the treasurer, or senior bencher present,
and the men of law fall to. In former times it was the custom to blow a
horn in every court to announce the meal, but how long this ancient
Templar practice has been discontinued we do not know. The benchers
observe somewhat more style at their table than the other members do at
theirs. The general repast is a tureen of soup, a joint of meat, a tart,
and cheese, to each mess, consisting of four persons, and each mess is
allowed a bottle of port wine. Dinner is served daily to the members of
the Inn during term time; the masters of the Bench dining on the state,
or dais, and the barristers and students at long tables extending down
the hall. On grand days the judges are present, who dine in succession
with each of the four Inns of Court. To the parliament chamber,
adjoining the hall, the benchers repair after dinner. The loving cups
used on certain grand occasions are huge silver goblets, which are
passed down the table, filled with a delicious composition, immemorially
termed "sack," consisting of sweetened and exquisitely-flavoured white
wine. The butler attends the progress of the cup, to replenish it; and
each student is by rule restricted to a _sip_; yet it is recorded that
once, though the number present fell short of seventy, thirty-six quarts
of the liquid were sipped away. At the Inner Temple, on May 29th, a
gold cup of sack is handed to each member, who drinks to the happy
restoration of Charles II.

[Illustration: SUN-DIAL IN THE TEMPLE (_see page 177_).]

The writer in _Blackwood_ before referred to alludes to the strict
silence enjoined at the Inner Temple dinners, the only intercourse
between the several members of the mess being the usual social scowl
vouchsafed by your true-born Englishman to persons who have not the
honour of his acquaintance. You may, indeed, on an emergency, ask your
neighbour for the salt; but then it is also perfectly understood that he
is not obliged to notice your request.

The old term of "calling to the bar" seems to have originated in the
custom of summoning students, that had attained a certain standing, to
the bar that separated the benchers' dais from the hall, to take part in
certain probationary mootings or discussions on points of law. The mere
student sat farthest from the bar.

When these mootings were discontinued deponent sayeth not. In Coke's
time (1543), that great lawyer, after supper at five o'clock, used to
join the moots, when questions of law were proposed and discussed, when
fine on the garden terrace, in rainy weather in the Temple cloisters.
The dinner alone now remains; dining is now the only legal study of
Temple students.

In the _Middle Temple_ a three years' standing and twelve commons kept
suffices to entitle a gentleman to be called to the bar, provided he is
above twenty-three years of age. No person can be called to the bar at
any of the Inns of Court before he is twenty-one years of age; and a
standing of five years is understood to be required of every member
before being called. The members of the several universities, &c., may,
however, be called after three years' standing.

[Illustration: THE TEMPLE STAIRS.]

The Inner Temple Garden (three acres in extent) has probably been a
garden from the time the white-mantled Templars first came from Holborn
and settled by the river-side. This little paradise of nurserymaids and
London children is entered from the terrace by an iron gate (date,
1730); and the winged horse that surmounts the portal has looked down on
many a distinguished visitor. In the centre of the grass is such a
sun-dial as Charles Lamb loved, with the date, 1770. A little to the
east of this stands an old sycamore, which, fifteen years since, was
railed in as the august mummy of that umbrageous tree under whose shade,
as tradition says, Johnson and Goldsmith used to sit and converse.
According to an engraving of 1671 there were formerly three trees; so
that Shakespeare himself may have sat under them and meditated on the
Wars of the Roses. The print shows a brick terrace faced with stone,
with a flight of steps at the north. The old river wall of 1670 stood
fifty or sixty yards farther north than the present; and when Paper
Buildings were erected, part of this wall was dug up. The view given on
this page, and taken from an old view in the Temple, shows a portion of
the old wall, with the doorway opening upon the Temple Stairs.

The Temple Garden, half a century since, was famous for its white and
red roses (the Old Provence, Cabbage, and the Maiden's Blush--Timbs);
and the lime-trees were delightful in the time of bloom. There were only
two steamboats on the river then; but the steamers and factory smoke
soon spoiled everything but the hardy chrysanthemums. However, since the
Smoke Consuming Act has been enforced, the roses, stocks, and hawthorns
have again taken heart, and blossom with grateful luxuriance. In 1864
Mr. Broome, the zealous gardener of the Inner Temple, exhibited at the
Central Horticultural Society twenty-four trusses of roses grown under
his care. In the flower-beds next the main walk he managed to secure
four successive crops of flowers--the pompones were especially gaudy and
beautiful; but his chief triumph were the chrysanthemums of the northern
border. The trees, however, seem delicate, and suffering from the cold
winds, dwindle as they approach the river. The planes, limes, and wych
elms stand best. The Temple rooks--the wise birds Goldsmith delighted to
watch--were originally brought by Sir William Northcote from Woodcote
Green, Epsom, but they left in disgust, many years since. Mr. Timbs says
that 200 families enjoy these gardens throughout the year, and about
10,000 of the outer world, chiefly children, who are always in search of
the lost Eden, come hers annually. The flowers and trees are rarely
injured, thanks to the much-abused London public.

In the secluded Middle Temple Garden is an old catalpa tree, supposed to
have been planted by that grave and just judge, Sir Matthew Hale. On the
lawn is a large table sun-dial, elaborately gilt and embellished. From
the library oriel the Thames and its bridges, Somerset House and the
Houses of Parliament, form a grand _coup d'oeil_.

The revenue of the Middle Temple alone is said to be £13,000 a year.
With the savings we are, of course, entirely ignorant. The students'
dinners are half paid for by themselves, the library is kept up on very
little fodder, and altogether the system of auditing the Inns of Court
accounts is as incomprehensible as the Sybilline oracles; but there can
be no doubt it is all right, and very well managed.

In the seventeenth century (says Mr. Noble) a benevolent member of the
Middle Temple conveyed to the benchers in fee several houses in the
City, out of the rents of which to pay a stated salary to each of two
referees, who were to meet on two days weekly, in term, from two to
five, in the hall or other convenient place, and without fee on either
side, to settle as best they could all disputes submitted to them. From
that time the referees have been appointed, but there is no record of a
single case being tried by them. The two gentlemen, finding their office
a sinecure, have devoted their salaries to making periodical additions
to the library. May we be allowed to ask, was this benevolent object
ever made known to the public generally? We cannot but think, if it had
been, that the two respected arbitrators would not have had to complain
of the office as a sinecure.

He who can enumerate the wise and great men who have been educated in
the Temple can count off the stars on his finger and measure the sands
of the sea-shore by teacupsful. To cull a few, we may mention that the
Inner Temple boasts among its eminent members--Audley, Chancellor to
Henry VIII.; Nicholas Hare, of Hare Court celebrity; the great lawyer,
Littleton (1481), and Coke, his commentator; Sir Christopher Hatton, the
dancing Chancellor; Lord Buckhurst; Selden; Judge Jeffries; Beaumont,
the poet; William Browne, the author of "Britannia's Pastorals" (so much
praised by the Lamb and Hazlitt school); Cowper, the poet; and Sir
William Follett.

From the Middle Temple have also sprung swarms of great lawyers. We may
mention specially Plowden, the jurist, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Thomas
Overbury (who was poisoned in the Tower), John Ford (one of the latest
of the great dramatists), Sir Edward Bramston (chamber-fellow to Mr.
Hyde, afterwards Lord Clarendon), Bulstrode Whitelocke (one of
Cromwell's Ministers), Lord-Keeper Guildford (Charles II.), Lord
Chancellor Somers, Wycherley and Congreve (the dramatists), Shadwell and
Southern (comedy writers), Sir William Blackstone, Edmund Burke,
Sheridan, Dunning (Lord Ashburton), Lord Chancellor Eldon, Lord Stowell,
as a few among a multitude.




CHAPTER XVII.

WHITEFRIARS.

    The Present Whitefriars--The Carmelite Convent--Dr. Butts--The
    Sanctuary--Lord Sanquhar Murders the Fencing-Master--His
    Trial--Bacon and Yelverton--His Execution--Sir Walter Scott's
    "Fortunes of Nigel"--Shadwell's _Squire of Alsatia_--A Riot in
    Whitefriars--Elizabethan Edicts against two Ruffians of
    Alsatia--Bridewell--A Roman Fortification--A Saxon Palace--Wolsey's
    Residence--Queen Catherine's Trial--Her Behaviour in
    Court--Persecution of the First Congregationalists--Granaries and
    Coal Stores destroyed by the Great Fire--The Flogging in
    Bridewell--Sermon on Madame Creswell--Hogarth and the "Harlot's
    Progress"--Pennant's Account of Bridewell--Bridewell in 1843--Its
    Latter Days--Pictures in the Court Room--Bridewell Dock--The Gas
    Works--Theatres in Whitefriars--Pepys' Visits to the Theatre--Dryden
    and the Dorset Gardens Theatre--Davenant--Kynaston--Dorset
    House--The Poet-Earl.


So rich is London in legend and tradition, that even some of the spots
that now appear the blankest, baldest, and most uninteresting, are
really vaults of entombed anecdote and treasure-houses of old story.

Whitefriars--that dull, narrow, uninviting lane sloping from Fleet
Street to the river, with gas works at its foot and mean shops on either
side--was once the centre of a district full of noblemen's mansions; but
Time's harlequin wand by-and-by turned it into a debtors' sanctuary and
thieves' paradise, and for half a century its bullies and swindlers
waged a ceaseless war with their proud and rackety neighbours of the
Temple. The dingy lane, now only awakened by the quick wheel of the
swift newspaper cart or the ponderous tires of the sullen coal-wagon,
was in olden times for ever ringing with clash of swords, the cries of
quarrelsome gamblers, and the drunken songs of noisy Bobadils.

In the reign of Edward I., a certain Sir Robert Gray, moved by qualms of
conscience or honest impulse, founded on the bank of the Thames, east of
the well-guarded Temple, a Carmelite convent, with broad gardens, where
the white friars might stroll, and with shady nooks where they might con
their missals. Bouverie Street and Ram Alley were then part of their
domain, and there they watched the river and prayed for their patrons'
souls. In 1350 Courtenay, Earl of Devon, rebuilt the Whitefriars Church,
and in 1420 a Bishop of Hereford added a steeple. In time, greedy hands
were laid roughly on cope and chalice, and Henry VIII., seizing on the
friars' domains, gave his physician--that Doctor Butts mentioned by
Shakespeare--the chapter-house for a residence. Edward VI.--who, with
all his promise, was as ready for such pillage as his tyrannical
father--pulled down the church, and built noblemen's houses in its
stead. The refectory of the convent, being preserved, afterwards became
the Whitefriars Theatre. The mischievous right of sanctuary was
preserved to the district, and confirmed by James I., in whose reign the
slum became jocosely known as Alsatia--from Alsace, that unhappy
frontier then, and later, contended for by French and Germans--just as
Chandos Street and that shy neighbourhood at the north-west side of the
Strand used to be called the Caribbee Islands, from its countless
straits and intricate thieves' passages. The outskirts of the Carmelite
monastery had no doubt become disreputable at an early time, for even in
Edward III.'s reign the holy friars had complained of the gross
temptations of Lombard Street (an alley near Bouverie Street). Sirens
and Dulcineas of all descriptions were ever apt to gather round
monasteries. Whitefriars, however, even as late as Cromwell's reign,
preserved a certain respectability; for here, with his supposed wife,
the Dowager Countess of Kent, Selden lived and studied.

In the reign of James I. a strange murder was committed in Whitefriars.
The cause of the crime was highly singular. In 1607 young Lord Sanquhar,
a Scotch nobleman, who with others of his countrymen had followed his
king to England, had an eye put out by a fencing-master of Whitefriars.
The young lord--a man of a very ancient, proud, and noble Scotch family,
as renowned for courage as for wit--had striven to put some affront on
the fencing-master at Lord Norris's house, in Oxfordshire, wishing to
render him contemptible before his patrons and assistants--a common
bravado of the rash Tybalts and hot-headed Mercutios of those fiery days
of the duello, when even to crack a nut too loud was enough to make your
tavern neighbour draw his sword. John Turner, the master, jealous of his
professional honour, challenged the tyro with dagger and rapier, and,
determined to chastise his ungenerous assailant, parried all his most
skilful passadoes and staccatoes, and in his turn pressed Sanquhar with
his foil so hotly and boldly that he unfortunately thrust out one of his
eyes. The young baron, ashamed of his own rashness, and not convinced
that Turner's thrust was only a slip and an accident, bore with patience
several days of extreme danger. As for Turner, he displayed natural
regret, and was exonerated by everybody. Some time after, Lord Sanquhar
being in the court of Henry IV. of France, that chivalrous and gallant
king, always courteous to strangers, seeing the patch of green taffeta,
unfortunately, merely to make conversation, asked the young Scotchman
how he lost his eye. Sanquhar, not willing to lose the credit of a
wound, answered cannily, "It was done, your majesty, with a sword." The
king replied, thoughtlessly, "Doth the man live?" and no more was said.
This remark, however, awoke the viper of revenge in the young man's
soul. He brooded over those words, and never ceased to dwell on the hope
of some requital on his old opponent. Two years he remained in France,
hoping that his wound might be cured, and at last, in despair of such a
result, set sail for England, still brooding over revenge against the
author of his cruel and, as it now appeared, irreparable misfortune. The
King of Denmark, James's toss-pot father-in-law, was on a visit here at
the time, and the court was very gay. The first news that Lord Sanquhar
heard was, that the accursed Turner was down at Greenwich Palace,
fencing there in public matches before the two kings. To these
entertainments the young Scotchman went, and there, from some corner of
a gallery, the man with a patch over his eye no doubt scowled and bit
his lip at the fencing-master, as he strutted beneath, proud of his
skill and flushed with triumph. The moment the prizes were given,
Sanquhar hurried below, and sought Turner up and down, through court and
corridor, resolved to stab him on the spot, though even drawing a sword
in the precincts of the palace was an offence punishable with the loss
of a hand. Turner, however, at that time escaped, for Sanquhar never
came across him in the throng, though he beat it as a dog beats a
covert. The next day, therefore, still on his trail, Lord Sanquhar went
after him to London, seeking for him up and down the Strand, and in all
the chief Fleet Street and Cheapside taverns. The Scot could not have
come to a more dangerous place than London. Some, with malicious pity,
would tell him that Turner had vaunted of his skilful thrust, and the
way he had punished a man who tried to publicly shame him. Others would
thoughtlessly lament the spoiling of a good swordsman and a brave
soldier. The mere sight of the turnings to Whitefriars would rouse the
evil spirit nestling in Sanquhar's heart. Eagerly he sought for Turner,
till he found he was gone down to Norris's house, in Oxfordshire--the
very place where the fatal wound had been inflicted. Being thus for the
time foiled, Sanquhar returned to Scotland, and for the present delayed
his revenge. On his next visit to London Sanquhar, cruel and steadfast
as a bloodhound, again sought for Turner. Yet the difficulty was to
surprise the man, for Sanquhar was well known in all the taverns and
fencing-schools of Whitefriars, and yet did not remember Turner
sufficiently well to be sure of him. He therefore hired two Scotchmen,
who undertook his assassination; but, in spite of this, Turner somehow
or other was hard to get at, and escaped his two pursuers and the
relentless man whose money had bought them. Business then took Sanquhar
again to France, but on his return the brooding revenge, now grown to a
monomania, once more burst into a flame.

At last he hired Carlisle and Gray, two Scotchmen, who were to take a
lodging in Whitefriars, to discover the best way for Sanquhar himself to
strike a sure blow at the unconscious fencing-master. These men, after
some reconnoitring, assured their employer that he could not himself get
at Turner, but that they would undertake to do so, to which Sanquhar
assented. But Gray's heart failed him after this, and he slipped away,
and Turner went again out of town, to fence at some country mansion.
Upon this Carlisle, a resolute villain, came to his employer and told
him with grim set face that, as Gray had deceived him and there was
"trust in no knave of them all," he would e'en have nobody but himself,
and would assuredly kill Turner on his return, though it were with the
loss of his own life. Irving, a Border lad, and page to Lord Sanquhar,
ultimately joined Carlisle in the assassination.

On the 11th of May, 1612, about seven o'clock in the evening, the two
murderers came to a tavern in Whitefriars, which Turner usually
frequented as he returned from his fencing-school. Turner, sitting at
the door with one of his friends, seeing the men, saluted them, and
asked them to drink. Carlisle turned to cock the pistol he had prepared,
then wheeled round, and drawing the pistol from under his coat,
discharged it full at the unfortunate fencing-master, and shot him near
the left breast. Turner had only time to cry, "Lord have mercy upon
me--I am killed," and fell from the ale-bench, dead. Carlisle and Irving
at once fled--Carlisle to the town, Irving towards the river; but the
latter, mistaking a court where wood was sold for the turning into an
alley, was instantly run down and taken. Carlisle was caught in
Scotland, Gray as he was shipping at a seaport for Sweden; and Sanquhar
himself, hearing one hundred pounds were offered for his head, threw
himself on the king's mercy by surrendering himself as an object of pity
to the Archbishop of Canterbury. But no intercession could avail. It was
necessary for James to show that he would not spare Scottish more than
English malefactors.

Sanquhar was tried in Westminster Hall on the 27th of June, before Mr.
Justice Yelverton. Sir Francis Bacon, the Solicitor-General, did what he
could to save the revengeful Scot, but it was impossible to keep him
from the gallows. Robert Creighton, Lord Sanquhar, therefore, confessed
himself guilty, but pleaded extenuating circumstances. He had, he said,
always believed that Turner boasted he had put out his eye of set
purpose, though at the taking up the foils he (Sanquhar) had specially
protested that he played as a scholar, and not as one able to contend
with a master in the profession. The mode of playing among scholars was
always to spare the face.

"After this loss of my eye," continued the quasi-repentant murderer,
"and with the great hazard of the loss of life, I must confess that I
ever kept a grudge of my soul against Turner, but had no purpose to take
so high a revenge; yet in the course of my revenge I considered not my
wrongs upon terms of Christianity--for then I should have sought for
other satisfaction--but, being trained up in the courts of princes and
in arms, I stood upon the terms of honour, and thence befell this act of
dishonour, whereby I have offended--first, God; second, my prince;
third, my native country; fourth, this country; fifth, the party
murdered; sixth, his wife; seventh, posterity; eighth, Carlisle, now to
be executed; and lastly, ninth, my own soul, and I am now to die for my
offence. But, my lords," he added, "besides my own offence, which in
its nature needs no aggravation, divers scandalous reports are given out
which blemish my reputation, which is more dear to me than my life:
first, that I made show of reconciliation with Turner, the which, I
protest, is utterly untrue, for what I have formerly said I do again
assure your good lordships, that ever after my hurt received I kept a
grudge in my soul against him, and never made the least pretence of
reconciliation with him. Yet this, my lords, I will say, that if he
would have confessed and sworn he did it not of purpose, and withal
would have foresworn arms, I would have pardoned him; for, my lords, I
considered that it must be done either of set purpose or ignorantly. If
the first, I had no occasion to pardon him; if the last, that is no
excuse in a master, and therefore for revenge of such a wrong I thought
him unworthy to bear arms."

Lord Sanquhar then proceeded to deny the aspersion that he was an
ill-natured fellow, ever revengeful, and delighting in blood. He
confessed, however, that he was never willing to put up with a wrong,
nor to pardon where he had a power to retaliate. He had never been
guilty of blood till now, though he had occasion to draw his sword, both
in the field and on sudden violences, where he had both given and
received hurts. He allowed that, upon commission from the king to
suppress wrongs done him in his own country, he had put divers of the
Johnsons to death, but for that he hoped he had need neither to ask God
nor man for forgiveness. He denied, on his salvation, that by the help
of his countrymen he had attempted to break prison and escape. The
condemned prisoner finally begged the lords to let the following
circumstances move them to pity and the king to mercy:--First, the
indignity received from so mean a man; second, that it was done
willingly, for he had been informed that Turner had bragged of it after
it was done; third, the perpetual loss of his eye; fourth, the want of
law to give satisfaction in such a case; fifth, the continued blemish he
had received thereby.

The Solicitor-General (Bacon), in his speech, took the opportunity of
fulsomely bepraising the king after his manner. He represented the
sputtering, drunken, corrupt James as almost divine, in his energy and
sagacity. He had stretched forth his long arms (for kings, he said, had
long arms), and taken Gray as he shipped for Sweden, Carlisle ere he was
yet warm in his house in Scotland. He had prosecuted the offenders "with
the breath and blasts of his mouth;" "so that," said this gross
time-server, "I may conclude that his majesty hath showed himself God's
true lieutenant, and that he is no respecter of persons, but English,
Scots, noblemen, fencers (which is but an ignoble trade), are all to him
alike in respect of justice. Nay, I may say further, that his majesty
hath had in this matter a kind of prophetical spirit, for at what time
Carlisle and Gray, and you, my lord, yourself, were fled no man knew
whither, to the four winds, the king ever spoke in confident and
undertaking manner, that wheresoever the offenders were in Europe, he
would produce them to justice."

Mr. Justice Yelverton, though Bacon had altogether taken the wind out of
his sails, summed up in the same vein, to prove that James was a Solomon
and a prophet, and would show no favouritism to Scotchmen. He held out
no hope of a reprieve. "The base and barbarous murder," he said, with
ample legal verbiage, "was exceeding strange;--done upon the sudden!
done in an instant! done with a pistol! done with your own pistol! under
the colour of kindness. As Cain talked with his brother Abel, he rose up
and slew him. Your executioners of the murder left the poor miserable
man no time to defend himself, scarce any time to breathe out those last
words, 'Lord, have mercy upon me!' The ground of the malice that you
bore him grew not out of any offence that he ever willingly gave you,
but out of the pride and haughtiness of your own self; for that in the
false conceit of your own skill you would needs importune him to that
action, the sequel whereof did most unhappily breed your blemish--the
loss of your eye." The manner of his death would be, no doubt, as he
(the prisoner) would think, unbefitting to a man of his honour and blood
(a baron of 300 years' antiquity), but was fit enough for such an
offender. Lord Sanquhar was then sentenced to be hung till he was dead.
The populace, from whom he expected "scorn and disgrace," were full of
pity for a man to be cut off, like Shakespeare's Claudio, in his prime,
and showed great compassion.

On the 29th of June (St. Peter's Day) Lord Sanquhar was hung before
Westminster Hall. On the ladder he confessed the enormity of his sins,
but said that till his trial, blinded by the devil, he could not see he
had done anything unfitting a man of his rank and quality, who had been
trained up in the wars, and had lived the life of a soldier, standing
more on points of honour than religion. He then professed that he died a
Roman Catholic, and begged all Roman Catholics present to pray for him.
He had long, he said, for worldly reasons, neglected the public
profession of his faith, and he thought God was angry with him. His
religion was a good religion--a saving religion--and if he had been
constant to it he was verily persuaded he should never have fallen into
that misery. He then prayed for the king, queen, their issue, the State
of England and Scotland, and the lords of the Council and Church, after
which the wearied executioner threw him from the ladder, suffering him
to hang a long time to display the king's justice. The compassion and
sympathy of the people present had abated directly they found he was a
Roman Catholic. The same morning, very early, Carlisle and Irving were
hung on two gibbets in Fleet Street, over against the great gate of the
Whitefriars. The page's gibbet was six feet higher than the
serving-man's, it being the custom at that time in Scotland that, when a
gentleman was hung at the same time with one of meaner quality, the
gentleman had the honour of the higher gibbet, feeling much aggrieved if
he had not.

[Illustration: THE MURDER OF TURNER (_see page 184_).]

The riotous little kingdom of Whitefriars, with all its frowzy and
questionable population, has been admirably drawn by Scott in his fine
novel of "The Fortunes of Nigel," recently so pleasantly recalled to
our remembrance by Mr. Andrew Halliday's dexterous dramatic adaptation.
Sir Walter chooses a den of Alsatia as a sanctuary for young Nigel,
after his duel with Dalgarno. At one stroke of Scott's pen, the foggy,
crowded streets eastward of the Temple rise before us, and are thronged
with shaggy, uncombed ruffians, with greasy shoulder-belts, discoloured
scarves, enormous moustaches, and torn hats. With what a Teniers' pencil
the great novelist sketches the dingy precincts, with its blackguardly
population:--"The wailing of children," says the author of "Nigel," "the
scolding of their mothers, the miserable exhibition of ragged linen hung
from the windows to dry, spoke the wants and distresses of the wretched
inhabitants; while the sounds of complaint were mocked and overwhelmed
by the riotous shouts, oaths, profane songs, and boisterous laughter
that issued from the ale-houses and taverns, which, as the signs
indicated, were equal in number to all the other houses; and that the
full character of the place might be evident, several faded, tinselled,
and painted females looked boldly at the strangers from their open
lattices, or more modestly seemed busied with the cracked flower-pots,
filled with mignonette and rosemary, which were disposed in front of the
windows, to the great risk of the passengers." It is to a dilapidated
tavern in the same foul neighbourhood that the gay Templar, it will be
remembered, takes Nigel to be sworn in a brother of Whitefriars by
drunken and knavish Duke Hildebrod, whom he finds surrounded by his
councillors--a bullying Low Country soldier, a broken attorney, and a
hedge parson; and it is here also, at the house of old Miser Trapbois,
the young Scot so narrowly escapes death at the hands of the poor old
wretch's cowardly assassins.

[Illustration: BRIDEWELL, AS REBUILT AFTER THE FIRE, FROM AN OLD PRINT
(_see page 191_).]

The scoundrels and cheats of Whitefriars are admirably etched by
Dryden's rival, Shadwell. That unjustly-treated writer (for he was by no
means a fool) has called one of his comedies, in the Ben Jonson manner,
_The Squire of Alsatia_. It paints the manners of the place at the
latter end of Charles II.'s reign, when the dregs of an age that was
indeed full of dregs were vatted in that disreputable sanctuary east of
the Temple. The "copper captains," the degraded clergymen who married
anybody, without inquiry, for five shillings, the broken lawyers,
skulking bankrupts, sullen homicides, thievish money-lenders, and gaudy
courtesans, Dryden's burly rival has painted with a brush full of
colour, and with a brightness, clearness, and sharpness which are
photographic in their force and truth. In his dedication, which is
inscribed to that great patron of poets, the poetical Earl of Dorset,
Shadwell dwells on the great success of the piece, the plot of which he
had cleverly "adapted" from the _Adelphi_ of Terence. In the prologue,
which was spoken by Mountfort, the actor, whom the infamous Lord Mohun
stabbed in Norfolk Street, the dramatist ridicules his tormenter Dryden,
for his noise and bombast, and with some vigour writes--

    "With what prodigious scarcity of wit
    Did the new authors starve the hungry pit!
    Infected by the French, you must have rhyme,
    Which long to please the ladies' ears did chime.
    Soon after this came ranting fustian in,
    And none but plays upon the fret were seen,
    Such daring bombast stuff which fops would praise,
    Tore our best actors' lungs, cut short their days.
    Some in small time did this distemper kill;
    And had the savage authors gone on still,
    Fustian had been a new disease i' the bill."

The moral of Shadwell's piece is the danger of severity in parents. An
elder son, being bred up under restraint, turns a rakehell in
Whitefriars, whilst the younger, who has had his own way, becomes "an
ingenious, well-accomplished gentleman, a man of honour in King's Bench
Walk, and of excellent disposition and temper," in spite of a good deal
more gallantry than our stricter age would pardon. The worst of it is
that the worthy son is always being mistaken for the scamp, while the
miserable Tony Lumpkin passes for a time as the pink of propriety.
Eventually, he falls into the hands of some Alsatian tricksters. The
first of these, Cheatley, is a rascal who, "by reason of debts, does not
stir out of Whitefriars, but there inveigles young men of fortune, and
helps them to goods and money upon great disadvantage, is bound for
them, and shares with them till he undoes them." Shadwell tickets him,
in his _dramatis personæ_, as "a lewd, impudent, debauched fellow."
According to his own account, the cheat lies perdu, because his
unnatural father is looking for him, to send him home into the country.
Number two, Shamwell, is a young man of fortune, who, ruined by
Cheatley, has turned decoy-duck, and lives on a share of the spoil. His
ostensible reason for concealment is that an alderman's young wife had
run away with him. The third rascal, Scrapeall, is a low, hypocritical
money-lender, who is secretly in partnership with Cheatley. The fourth
rascal is Captain Hackman, a bullying coward, whose wife keeps lodgings,
sells cherry brandy, and is of more than doubtful virtue. He had
formerly been a sergeant in Flanders, but ran from his colours, dubbed
himself captain, and sought refuge in the Friars from a paltry debt.
This blustering scamp stands much upon his honour, and is alternately
drawing his enormous sword and being tweaked by the nose. A lion in the
estimation of fools, he boasts over his cups that he has whipped five
men through the lungs. He talks a detestable cant language, calling
guineas "megs," and half-guineas "smelts." Money, with him is "the
ready," "the rhino," "the darby;" a good hat is "a rum nab;" to be well
off is to be "rhinocerical." This consummate scoundrel teaches young
country Tony Lumpkins to break windows, scour the streets, to thrash the
constables, to doctor the dice, and get into all depths of low mischief.
Finally, when old Sir William Belfond, the severe old country gentleman,
comes to confront his son, during his disgraceful revels at the "George"
tavern, in Dogwell Court, Bouverie Street, the four scamps raise a shout
of "An arrest! an arrest! A bailiff! a bailiff!" The drawers join in the
tumult; the Friars, in a moment, is in an uproar; and eventually the old
gentleman is chased by all the scum of Alsatia, shouting at the top of
their voices, "Stop! stop! A bailiff! a bailiff!" He has a narrow escape
of being pulled to pieces, and emerges in Fleet Street, hot,
bespattered, and bruised. It was no joke then to threaten the privileges
of Whitefriars.

Presently a horn is blown, there is a cry from Water Lane to
Hanging-sword Alley, from Ashen-tree Court to Temple Gardens, of
"Tipstaff! An arrest! an arrest!" and in a moment they are "up in the
Friars," with a cry of "Fall on." The skulking debtors scuttle into
their burrows, the bullies fling down cup and can, lug out their rusty
blades, and rush into the _mêlée_. From every den and crib red-faced,
bloated women hurry with fire-forks, spits, cudgels, pokers, and
shovels. They're "up in the Friars," with a vengeance. Pouring into the
Temple before the Templars can gather, they are about to drag old Sir
William under the pump, when the worthy son comes to the rescue, and the
Templars, with drawn swords, drive back the rabble, and make the porters
shut the gates leading into Alsatia. Cheatley, Shamwell, and Hackman,
taken prisoners, are then well drubbed and pumped on by the Templars,
and the gallant captain loses half his whiskers. "The terror of his
face," he moans, "is gone." "Indeed," says Cheatley, "your magnanimous
phiz is somewhat disfigured by it, captain." Cheatley threatened endless
actions. Hackman swears his honour is very tender, and that this one
affront will cost him at least five murders. As for Shamwell, he is
inconsolable. "What reparation are actions?" he moans, as he shakes his
wet hair and rubs his bruised back. "I am a gentleman, and can never
show my face amongst my kindred more." When at last they have got free,
they all console themselves with cherry brandy from Hackman's shop,
after which the "copper captain" observes, somewhat in Falstaff's
manner, "A fish has a cursed life on't. I shall have that aversion to
water after this, that I shall scarce ever be cleanly enough to wash my
face again."

Later in the play there is still another rising in Alsatia, but this
time the musketeers come in force, in spite of all privileges, and the
scuffle is greater than ever. Some debtors run up and down without
coats, others with still more conspicuous deficiencies. Some cry, "Oars!
oars! sculler; five pound for a boat; ten pound for a boat; twenty pound
for a boat;" many leap from balconies, and make for the water, to escape
to the Savoy or the Mint, also sanctuaries of that day. The play ends
with a dignified protest, which doubtless proved thoroughly effective
with the audience, against the privileges of places that harboured such
knots of scoundrels. "Was ever," Shadwell says, "such impudence suffered
in a Government? Ireland conquered; Wales subdued; Scotland united. But
there are some few spots of ground in London, just in the face of the
Government, unconquered yet, that hold in rebellion still. Methinks
'tis strange that places so near the king's palace should be no part of
his dominions. 'Tis a shame in the society of law to countenance such
practices. Should any place be shut against the king's writ or posse
comitatus?"

Be sure the pugnacious young Templars present all rose at that, and
great was the thundering of red-heeled shoes. King William probably
agreed with Shadwell, for at the latter end of his reign the privilege
of sanctuary was taken from Whitefriars, and the dogs were at last let
in on the rats for whom they had been so long waiting. Two other places
of refuge--the Mint and the Savoy--however, escaped a good deal longer;
and there the Hackmans and Cheatleys of the day still hid their ugly
faces after daylight had been let into Whitefriars and the wild days of
Alsatia had ceased for ever.

In earlier times there had been evidently special endeavours to preserve
order in Whitefriars, for in the State Paper Office there exist the
following rules for the inhabitants of the sanctuary in the reign of
Elizabeth:--

"_Item._ Theise gates shalbe orderly shutt and opened at convenient
times, and porters appointed for the same. Also, a scavenger to keep the
precincte clean.

"_Item._ Tipling houses shalbe bound for good order.

"_Item._ Searches to be made by the constables, with the assistance of
the inhabitants, at the commandmente of the justices.

"_Item._ Rogues and vagabondes and other disturbers of the public peace
shall be corrected and punished by the authoretie of the justices.

"_Item._ A bailife to be appointed for leavienge of such duties and
profittes which apperteine unto her Matie; as also for returne of proces
for execution of justice.

"_Item._ Incontinent persons to be presented unto the Ordenary, to be
tried, and punished.

"_Item._ The poore within the precincte shalbe provyded for by the
inhabitantes of the same.

"_Item._ In tyme of plague, good order shalbe taken for the restrainte
of the same.

"_Item._ Lanterne and light to be mainteined duringe winter time."

All traces of its former condition have long since disappeared from
Whitefriars, and it is difficult indeed to believe that the dull,
uninteresting region that now lies between Fleet Street and the Thames
was once the riotous Alsatia of Scott and Shadwell.

And now we come to Bridewell, first a palace, then a prison. The old
palace of Bridewell (Bridget's Well) was rebuilt upon the site of the
old Tower of Montfiquet (a soldier of the Conqueror's) by Henry VIII.,
for the reception of Charles V. of France in 1522. There had been a
Roman fortification in the same place, and a palace both of the Saxon
and Norman kings. Henry I. partly rebuilt the palace; and in 1847 a
vault with Norman billet moulding was discovered in excavating the site
of a public-house in Bride Lane. It remained neglected till Cardinal
Wolsey (_circa_ 1512) came in pomp to live here. Here, in 1525, when
Henry's affection for Anne Boleyn was growing, he made her father
(Thomas Boleyn, Treasurer of the King's House) Viscount Rochforde. A
letter of Wolsey's, June 6, 1513, to the Lord Admiral, is dated from "my
poor house at Bridewell;" and from 1515 to 1521 no less than £21,924 was
paid in repairs. Another letter from Wolsey, at Bridewell, mentions that
the house of the Lord Prior of St. John's Hospital, at Bridewell, had
been granted by the king for a record office. The palace must have been
detestable enough to the monks, for it was to his palace of Bridewell
that Henry VIII. summoned the abbots and other heads of religious
societies, and succeeded in squeezing out of them £100,000, the
contumacious Cistercians alone yielding up £33,000.

It was at the palace at Bridewell (in 1528) that King Henry VIII. first
disclosed the scruples that, after his acquaintance with Anne Boleyn,
troubled his sensitive conscience as to his marriage with Katherine of
Arragon. "A few days later," says Lingard, condensing the old
chronicles, "the king undertook to silence the murmurs of the people,
and summoned to his residence in the Bridewell the members of the
Council, the lords of his Court, and the mayor, aldermen, and principal
citizens. Before them he enumerated the several injuries which he had
received from the emperor, and the motives which induced him to seek the
alliance of France. Then, taking to himself credit for delicacy of
conscience, he described the scruples which had long tormented his mind
on account of his marriage with his deceased brother's widow. These he
had at first endeavoured to suppress, but they had been revived and
confirmed by the alarming declaration of the Bishop of Tarbes in the
presence of his Council. To tranquillise his mind he had recourse to the
only legitimate remedy: he had consulted the Pontiff, who had appointed
two delegates to hear the case, and by their judgment he was determined
to abide. He would therefore warn his subjects to be cautious how they
ventured to arraign his conduct. The proudest among them should learn
that he was their sovereign, and should answer with their heads for the
presumption of their tongues." Yet, notwithstanding he made all this
parade of conscious superiority, Henry was prudent enough not by any
means to refuse the aid of precaution. A rigorous search was made for
arms, and all strangers, with the exception only of ten merchants from
each nation, were ordered to leave the capital.

At the trial for divorce the poor queen behaved with much womanly
dignity. "The judges," says Hall, the chronicler, and after him Stow,
"commanded the crier to proclaim silence while their commission was
read, both to the court and the people assembled. That done, the scribes
commanded the crier to call the king by the name of 'King Henry of
England, come into court,' &c. With that the king answered, and said,
'Here.' Then he called the queen, by the name of 'Katherine, Queen of
England, come into court,' &c, who made no answer, but rose incontinent
out of her chair, and because she could not come to the king directly,
for the distance secured between them, she went about, and came to the
king, kneeling down at his feet in the sight of all the court and
people, to whom she said in effect these words, as followeth: 'Sir,'
quoth she, 'I desire you to do me justice and right, and take some pity
upon me, for I am a poor woman and a stranger, born out of your
dominion, having here so indifferent counsel, and less assurance of
friendship. Alas! sir, in what have I offended you? or what occasion of
displeasure have I showed you, intending thus to put me from you after
this sort? I take God to judge, I have been to you a true and humble
wife, ever conformable to your will and pleasure; that never contrarised
or gainsaid anything thereof; and being always contented with all things
wherein you had any delight or dalliance, whether little or much,
without grudge or countenance of discontent or displeasure. I loved for
your sake all them you loved, whether I had cause or no cause, whether
they were my friends or my enemies. I have been your wife these twenty
years or more, and you have had by me divers children; and when ye had
me at the first, I take God to be judge that I was a very maid; and
whether it be true or not, I put it to your conscience. If there be any
just cause that you can allege against me, either of dishonesty or
matter lawful, to put me from you, I am content to depart, to my shame
and rebuke; and if there be none, then I pray you to let me have justice
at your hands. The king, your father, was, in his time, of such
excellent wit, that he was accounted among all men for wisdom to be a
second Solomon; and the King of Spain, my father, Ferdinand, was
reckoned one of the wisest princes that reigned in Spain many years
before. It is not, therefore, to be doubted but that they had gathered
as wise counsellors unto them of every realm as to their wisdom they
thought meet; and as to me seemeth, there were in those days as wise and
well-learned in both realms as now at this day, who thought the marriage
between you and me good and lawful. Therefore it is a wonder to me to
hear what new inventions are now invented against me, that never
intended but honesty, and now to cause me to stand to the order and
judgment of this court. Ye should, as seemeth me, do me much wrong, for
ye may condemn me for lack of answer, having no counsel but such as ye
have assigned me; ye must consider that they cannot but be indifferent
on my part, where they be your own subjects, and such as ye have taken
and chosen out of your council, whereunto they be privy, and dare not
disclose your will and intent. Therefore, I humbly desire you, in the
way of charity, to spare me until I may know what counsel and advice my
friends in Spain will advertise me to take; and if you will not, then
your pleasure be fulfilled.' With that she rose up, making a low curtsey
to the king, and departed from thence, people supposing that she would
have resorted again to her former place, but she took her way straight
out of the court, leaning upon the arm of one of her servants, who was
her receiver-general, called Master Griffith. The king, being advertised
that she was ready to go out of the house where the court was kept,
commanded the crier to call her again by these words, 'Katherine, Queen
of England,' &c. With that, quoth Master Griffith, 'Madam, ye be called
again.' 'Oh! oh!' quoth she, 'it maketh no matter; it is no indifferent
(impartial) court for me, therefore I will not tarry: go on your ways.'
And thus she departed without any further answer at that time, or any
other, and never would appear after in any court."

Bridewell was endowed with the revenues of the Savoy. In 1555 the City
companies were taxed for fitting it up; and the next year Machyn records
that a thief was hung in one of the courts, and, later on, a riotous
attempt was made to rescue prisoners.

In 1863 Mr. Lemon discovered in the State Paper Office some interesting
documents relative to the imprisonment in Bridewell, in 1567
(Elizabeth), of many members of the first Congregational Church. Bishop
Grindal, writing to Bullinger, in 1568 describes this schism, and
estimates its adherents at about 200, but more women than men. Grindal
says they held meetings and administered the sacrament in private
houses, fields, and even in ships, and ordained ministers, elders, and
deacons, after their own manner. The Lord Mayor, in pity, urged them to
recant, but they remained firm. Several of these sufferers for
conscience' sake died in prison, including Richard Fitz, their minister,
and Thomas Rowland, a deacon. In the year 1597, within two months, 5,468
prisoners, including many Spaniards, were sent to Bridewell.

The Bridewell soon proved costly and inconvenient to the citizens, by
attracting idle, abandoned, and "masterless" people. In 1608 (James I.)
the City erected at Bridewell twelve large granaries and two
coal-stores; and in 1620 the old chapel was enlarged. In the Great Fire
(six years after the Restoration) the buildings were nearly all
destroyed, and the old castellated river-side mansion of Elizabeth's
time was rebuilt in two quadrangles, the chief of which fronted the
Fleet river (now a sewer under the centre of Bridge Street). We have
already given on page 12 a view of Bridewell as it appeared previous to
the Great Fire; and the general bird's-eye view given on page 187 in the
present number shows its appearance after it was rebuilt. Within the
present century, Mr. Timbs says, the committee-rooms, chapel, and
prisons were rebuilt, and the whole formed a large quadrangle, with an
entrance from Bridge Street, the keystone of the arch being sculptured
with the head of Edward VI. Bridewell stone bridge over the Fleet was
painted by Hayman, Hogarth's friend, and engraved by Grignon, as the
frontispiece to the third volume of "The Dunciad." In the burial-ground
at Bridewell, now the coal-yard of the City Gas Company, was buried, in
1752, Dr. Johnson's friend and _protégé_, poor blameless Levett. The
last interment took place here, Mr. Noble says, in 1844, and the trees
and tombstones were then carted away. The gateway into Bridge Street is
still standing, and such portions of the building as still remain are
used for the house and offices of the treasury of the Bridewell Hospital
property, which includes Bedlam.

The flogging at Bridewell is described by Ward, in his "London Spy."
Both men and women, it appears, were whipped on their naked backs before
the court of governors. The president sat with his hammer in his hand,
and the culprit was taken from the post when the hammer fell. The calls
to _knock_ when women were flogged were loud and incessant. "Oh, good
Sir Robert, knock! Pray, good Sir Robert, knock!" which became at length
a common cry of reproach among the lower orders, to denote that a woman
had been whipped in Bridewell. Madame Creswell, the celebrated
procuress of King Charles II.'s reign, died a prisoner in Bridewell. She
desired by _will_ to have a sermon preached at her funeral, for which
the preacher was to have £10, but upon this express condition, that he
was to say nothing but what was well of her. A preacher was with some
difficulty found who undertook the task. He, after a sermon preached on
the general subject of mortality, concluded with saying, "By the will of
the deceased, it is expected that I should mention her, and say nothing
but what was _well_ of her. All that I shall say of her, therefore, is
this: She was born _well_, she lived _well_, and she died _well_; for
she was born with the name of Cres_well_, she lived in Clerken_well_,
and she died in Bride_well_." (Cunningham.)

[Illustration: BEATING HEMP IN BRIDEWELL, AFTER HOGARTH.]

In 1708 (Queen Anne) Hatton describes Bridewell "as a house of
correction for idle, vagrant, loose, and disorderly persons, and 'night
walkers,' who are there set to hard labour, but receive clothes and
diet." It was also a hospital for indigent persons. Twenty art-masters
(decayed traders) were also lodged, and received about 140 apprentices.
The boys, after learning tailoring, weaving, flax-dressing, &c.,
received the freedom of the City, and donations of £10 each. Many of
these boys, says Hatton, "arrived from nothing to be governors." They
wore a blue dress and white hats, and attended fires, with an engine
belonging to the hospital. The lads at last became so turbulent, that in
1785 their special costume was abandoned. "Job's Pound" was the old cant
name for Bridewell, and it is so called in "Hudibras."

The scene of the fourth plate of Hogarth's "Harlot's Progress," finished
in 1733 (George II.), is laid in Bridewell. There, in a long,
dilapidated, tiled shed, a row of female prisoners are beating hemp on
wooden blocks, while a truculent-looking warder, with an apron on, is
raising his rattan to strike a poor girl not without some remains of her
youthful beauty, who seems hardly able to lift the heavy mallet, while
the wretches around leeringly deride her fine apron, laced hood, and
figured gown. There are two degraded men among the female
hemp-beaters--one an old card-sharper in laced coat and foppish wig;
another who stands with his hands in a pillory, on which is inscribed
the admonitory legend, "Better to work than stand thus." A cocked hat
and a dilapidated hoop hang on the wall.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE DUKE'S THEATRE, FROM SETTLE'S "EMPRESS OF
MOROCCO" (_see page 195_).]

That excellent man, Howard, visiting Bridewell in 1783, gives it a bad
name, in his book on "Prisons." He describes the rooms as offensive, and
the prisoners only receiving a penny loaf a day each. The steward
received eightpence a day for each prisoner, and a hemp-dresser, paid a
salary of £20, had the profit of the culprits' labour. For bedding the
prisoners had fresh straw given them once a month. It was the only
London prison where either straw or bedding was allowed. No out-door
exercise was permitted. In the year 1782 there had been confined in
Bridewell 659 prisoners.

In 1790, Pennant describes Bridewell as still having arches and
octagonal towers of the old palace remaining, and a magnificent flight
of ancient stairs leading to the court of justice. In the next room,
where the whipping-stocks were, tradition says sentence of divorce was
pronounced against Katherine of Arragon.

"The first time," says Pennant, "I visited the place, there was not a
single male prisoner, but about twenty females. They were confined on a
ground floor, and employed on the beating of hemp. When the door was
opened by the keeper, they ran towards it like so many hounds in kennel,
and presented a most moving sight. About twenty young creatures, the
eldest not exceeding sixteen, many of them with angelic faces divested
of every angelic expression, featured with impudence, impenitency, and
profligacy, and clothed in the silken tatters of squalid finery. A
magisterial--a national--opprobrium! What a disadvantageous contrast to
the _Spinhaus_, in Amsterdam, where the confined sit under the eye of a
matron, spinning or sewing, in plain and neat dresses provided by the
public! No traces of their former lives appear in their countenances; a
thorough reformation seems to have been effected, equally to the
emolument and the honour of the republic. This is also the place of
confinement for disobedient and idle apprentices. They are kept
separate, in airy cells, and have an allotted task to be performed in a
certain time. They, the men and women, are employed in beating hemp,
picking oakum, and packing of goods, and are said to earn their
maintenance."

A writer in "Knight's London" (1843) gives a very bad account of
Bridewell. "Bridewell, another place of confinement in the City of
London, is under the jurisdiction of the governors of Bridewell and
Bethlehem Hospitals, but it is supported out of the funds of the
hospital. The entrance is in Bridge Street, Blackfriars. The prisoners
confined here are persons summarily convicted by the Lord Mayor and
aldermen, and are, for the most part, petty pilferers, misdemeanants,
vagrants, and refractory apprentices, sentenced to solitary confinement;
which term need not terrify the said refractory offenders, for the
persons condemned to solitude," says the writer, "can with ease keep up
a conversation with each other from morning to night. The total number
of persons confined here in 1842 was 1,324, of whom 233 were under
seventeen, and 466 were known or reputed thieves. In 1818 no employment
was furnished to the prisoners. The men sauntered about from hour to
hour in those chambers where the worn blocks still stood and exhibited
the marks of the toil of those who are represented in Hogarth's prints.

"The treadmill has been now introduced, and more than five-sixths of the
prisoners are sentenced to hard labour, the 'mill' being employed in
grinding corn for Bridewell, Bethlehem, and the House of Occupation. The
'Seventh Report of the Inspectors of Prisons on the City Bridewell' is
as follows:--'The establishment answers no one object of imprisonment
except that of safe custody. It does not correct, deter, nor reform; but
we are convinced that the association to which all but the City
apprentices are subjected proves highly injurious, counteracts any
efforts that can be made for the moral and religious improvement of the
prisoners, corrupts the less criminal, and confirms the degradation of
the more hardened offenders. The cells in the old part of the prison are
greatly superior to those in the adjoining building, which is of
comparatively recent erection, but the whole of the arrangements are
exceedingly defective. It is quite lamentable to see such an injudicious
and unprofitable expenditure as that which was incurred in the erection
of this part of the prison.'"

Latterly Bridewell was used as a receptacle for vagrants, and as a
temporary lodging for paupers on their way to their respective parishes.
The prisoners sentenced to hard labour were put on a treadmill which
ground corn. The other prisoners picked junk. The women cleaned the
prison, picked junk, and mended the linen. In 1829 there was built
adjoining Bedlam a House of Occupation for young prisoners. It was
decided that from the revenue of the Bridewell hospital (£12,000)
reformatory schools were to be built. The annual number of contumacious
apprentices sent to Bridewell rarely exceeded twenty-five, and when Mr.
Timbs visited the prison in 1863 he says he found only one lad out of
the three thousand apprentices of the great City. In 1868 (says Mr.
Noble) the governors refused to receive a convicted apprentice, for the
very excellent reason that there was no cell to receive him.

The old court-room of Bridewell (84 by 29) was a handsome wainscoted
room, adorned with a great picture, erroneously attributed to Holbein
and representing Edward VI. granting the Royal Charter of Endowment to
the Mayor, which now hangs over the western gallery of the hall of
Christ's Hospital. It was engraved by Vertue in 1750, and represents an
event which happened ten years after the death of the supposed artist.
Beneath this was a cartoon of the Good Samaritan, by Dadd, the young
artist of promise who went mad and murdered his father, and who is now
confined for life in Broadmoor. The picture is now at Bedlam. There was
a fine full-length of swarthy Charles II., by Lely, and full-lengths of
George III. and Queen Charlotte, after Reynolds. There were also murky
portraits of past presidents, including an equestrian portrait of Sir
William Withers (1708). Tables of benefactions also adorned the walls.
In this hall the governors of Bridewell dined annually, each steward
contributing £15 towards the expenses, the dinner being dressed in a
large kitchen, below, only used for that purpose. The hall and kitchen
were taken down in 1862.

In the entrance corridor from Bridge Street (says Mr. Timbs) are the old
chapel gates, of fine iron-work, originally presented by the equestrian
Sir William Withers, and on the staircase is a bust of the venerable
Chamberlain Clarke, who died in his ninety-third year.

The Bridewell prison (whose inmates were sent to Holloway) was pulled
down (except the hall, treasurer's house, and offices) in 1863.

Bridewell Dock (now Tudor and William Streets and Chatham Place) was
long noted for its taverns, and was a favourite landing-place for the
Thames watermen. (Noble.)

The gas-works of Whitefriars are of great size. In 1807 Mr. Winsor, a
German, first lit a part of London (Pall Mall) with gas, and in 1809 he
applied for a charter. Yet, even as late as 1813, says Mr. Noble, the
inquest-men of St. Dunstan's, full of the vulgar prejudice of the day,
prosecuted William Sturt, of 183, Fleet Street, for continuing for three
months past "the making of gaslight, and making and causing to be made
divers large fires of coal and other things," by reason whereof and
"divers noisome and offensive stinks and smells and vapours he causes
the houses and dwellings near to be unhealthy, for which said nuisance
one William Knight, the occupier, was indicted at the sessions." The
early users of coffee at the "Rainbow," as we have seen in a previous
chapter, underwent the same persecution. Yet Knight went on boldly
committing his harmless misdemeanour, and even so far, in the next year
(1814), as to start a company and build gas-works on the river's bank at
Whitefriars. Gas spoke for itself, and its brilliancy could not be
gainsaid. Times have changed. There are now thirteen London companies,
producing a rental of a million and a half, using in their manufacture
882,770 tons of coal, and employing a capital of more than five and a
half millions. Luckily for the beauty of the Embankment, these gas-works
at Whitefriars, with their vast black reservoirs and all their smoke and
fire, are about to be removed to Barking, seven miles from London.

The first theatre in Whitefriars seems to have been one built in the
hall of the old Whitefriars Monastery. Mr. Collier gives the duration of
this theatre as from 1586 to 1613. A memorandum from the manuscript-book
of Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels to King Charles I., notes
that "I committed Cromes, a broker in Long Lane, the 16th of February,
1634, to the Marshalsey, for lending a Church robe, with the name of
Jesus upon it, to the players in Salisbury Court, to represent a flamen,
a priest of the heathens. Upon his petition of submission and
acknowledgment of his fault, I released him the 17th February, 1634."
From entries of the Wardmote Inquests of St. Dunstan's, quoted by Mr.
Noble, it appears that the Whitefriars Theatre (erected originally in
the precincts of the monastery, to be out of the jurisdiction of the
mayor) seems to have become disreputable in 1609, and ruinous in 1619,
when it is mentioned that "the rain hath made its way in, and if it be
not repaired it must soon be plucked down, or it will fall." The
Salisbury Court Theatre, that took its place, was erected about 1629,
and the Earl of Dorset somewhat illegally let it for a term of sixty-one
years and £950 down, Dorset House being afterwards sold for £4,000. The
theatre was destroyed by the Puritan soldiers in 1649, and not rebuilt
till the Restoration.

At the outbreak of pleasure and vice, after the Restoration, the actors,
long starved and crestfallen, brushed up their plumes and burnished
their tinsel. Killigrew, that clever buffoon of the Court, opened a new
theatre in Drury Lane in 1663, with a play of Beaumont and Fletcher's;
and Davenant (supposed to be Shakespeare's illegitimate son) opened the
little theatre, long disused, in Salisbury Court, the rebuilding of
which was commenced in 1660, on the site of the granary of Salisbury
House. In time Davenant migrated to the old Tennis Court, in Portugal
Street, on the south side of Lincoln's Inn Fields, and when the Great
Fire came it erased the Granary Theatre. In 1671, on Davenant's death,
the company (nominally managed by his widow) returned to the new theatre
in Salisbury Court, designed by Wren, and decorated, it is said, by
Grinling Gibbons. It opened with Dryden's _Sir Martin Marall_, which had
already had a run, having been first played in 1668. On Killigrew's
death, the King's and Duke's Servants united, and removed to Drury Lane
in 1682; so that the Dorset Gardens Theatre only flourished for eleven
years in all. It was subsequently let to wrestlers, fencers, and other
brawny and wiry performers. The engraving on page 193, taken from
Settle's "Empress of Morocco" (1678), represents the stage of the
theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields. Wren's new theatre in Dorset Gardens,
an engraving of which is given on page 138, fronted the river, and had
public stairs for the convenience of those who came by water. There was
also an open place before the theatre for the coaches of the "quality."
In 1698 it was used for the drawing of a penny lottery, but in 1703,
when it threatened to re-open, Queen Anne finally closed it. It was
standing in 1720 (George I.), when Strype drew up the continuation of
Stow, but it was shortly after turned into a timber-yard. The New River
Company next had their offices there, and in 1814 water was ousted by
fire, and the City Gas Works were established in this quarter, with a
dismal front to the bright and pleasant Embankment.

Pepys, the indefatigable, was a frequent visitor to the Whitefriars
Theatre. A few of his quaint remarks will not be uninteresting:--

"1660.--By water to Salsbury Court Playhouse, where, not liking to sit,
we went out again, and by coach to the theatre, &c.--To the playhouse,
and there saw _The Changeling_, the first time it hath been acted these
twenty years, and it takes exceedingly. Besides, I see the gallants do
begin to be tyred with the vanity and pride of the theatre actors, who
are indeed grown very proud and rich.

"1661.--To White-fryars, and saw _The Bondman_ acted; an excellent play,
and well done; but above all that I ever saw, Betterton do the Bondman
the best.

"1661.--After dinner I went to the theatre, where I found so few people
(which is strange, and the reason I do not know) that I went out again,
and so to Salisbury Court, where the house as full as could be; and it
seems it was a new play, _The Queen's Maske_, wherein there are some
good humours; among others, a good jeer to the old story of the siege of
Troy, making it to be a common country tale. But above all it was
strange to see so little a boy as that was to act Cupid, which is one of
the greatest parts in it.

"Creed and I to Salisbury Court, and there saw _Love's Quarrell_ acted
the first time, but I do not like the design or words..... To Salsbury
Court Playhouse, where was acted the first time a simple play, and ill
acted, only it was my fortune to sit by a most pretty and most ingenuous
lady, which pleased me much."

Dryden, in his prologues, makes frequent mention of the Dorset Gardens
Theatre, more especially in the address on the opening of the new Drury
Lane, March, 1674. The Whitefriars house, under Davenant, had been the
first to introduce regular scenery, and it prided itself on stage pomp
and show. The year before, in Shadwell's opera of _The Tempest, or the
Enchanted Island_, the machinery was very costly, and one scene, in
which the spirits flew away with the wicked duke's table and viands just
as the company was sitting down, had excited the town to enthusiasm.
_Psyche_, another opera by Shadwell, perhaps adapted from Molière's
Court spectacle, had succeeded the _Tempest_. St. André and his French
dancers were probably engaged in Shadwell's piece. The king, whose taste
and good sense the poet praises, had recommended simplicity of dress and
frugality of ornament. This Dryden took care to well remember. He
says:--

    "You who each day can theatres behold,
    Like Nero's palace, shining all in gold,
    Our mean, ungilded stage will scorn, we fear,
    And for the homely room disdain the cheer."

Then he brings in the dictum of the king:--

    "Yet if some pride with want may be allowed,
    We in our plainness may be justly proud:
    Our royal master willed it should be so;
    Whate'er he's pleased to own can need no show.
    That sacred name gives ornament and grace,
    And, like his stamp, makes basest metal pass.
    'Twere folly now a stately pile to raise,
    To build a playhouse, while you throw down plays.
    While scenes, machines, and empty operas reign,
    And for the pencil you the pen disdain:
    While troops of famished Frenchmen hither drive,
    And laugh at those upon whose alms they live,
    Old English authors vanish, and give place
    To these new conquerors of the Norman race."

And when, in 1671, the burnt-out Drury Lane company had removed to the
Portugal Street Theatre, Dryden had said, in the same strain,--

    "So we expect the lovers, braves, and wits;
    The gaudy house with scenes will serve for cits."

In another epilogue Dryden alludes sarcastically to the death of Mr.
Scroop, a young rake of fortune, who had just been run through by Sir
Thomas Armstrong, a sworn friend of the Duke of Monmouth, in a quarrel
at the Dorset Gardens Theatre, and died soon after. This fatal affray
took place during the representation of Davenant's adaptation of
_Macbeth_.

From Dryden's various prologues and epilogues we cull many
sharply-outlined and bright-coloured pictures of the wild and riotous
audiences of those evil days. We see again the "hot Burgundians" in the
upper boxes wooing the masked beauties, crying "_bon_" to the French
dancers and beating cadence to the music that had stirred even the
stately Court of Versailles. Again we see the scornful critics, bunched
with glistening ribbons, shaking back their cascades of blonde hair,
lolling contemptuously on the foremost benches, and "looking big through
their curls." There from "Fop's Corner" rises the tipsy laugh, the
prattle, and the chatter, as the dukes and lords, the wits and
courtiers, practise what Dryden calls "the diving bow," or "the toss and
the new French wallow"--the diving bow being especially admired, because
it--

    "With a shog casts all the hair before,
    Till he, with full decorum, brings it back,
    And rises with a water-spaniel's shake."

Nor does the poet fail to recall the affrays in the upper boxes, when
some quarrelsome rake was often pinned to the wainscoat by the sword of
his insulted rival. Below, at the door, the Flemish horses and the
heavy gilded coach, lighted by flambeaux, are waiting for the noisy
gallant, and will take back only his corpse.

Of Dryden's coldly licentious comedies and ranting bombastic tragedies a
few only seem to have been produced at the Dorset Gardens Theatre. Among
these we may mention _Limberham_, _OEdipus_, _Troilus and Cressida_, and
_The Spanish Friar_. _Limberham_ was acted at the Duke's Theatre, in
Dorset Gardens; because, being a satire upon a Court vice, it was deemed
peculiarly calculated for that playhouse. The concourse of the citizens
thither is alluded to in the prologue to _Marriage à la Mode_.
Ravenscroft, also, in his epilogue to the play of _Citizen Turned
Gentleman_, which was acted at the same theatre, takes occasion to
disown the patronage of the more dissolute courtiers, in all probability
because they formed the minor part of his audience. The citizens were
his great patrons.

In the _Postman_, December 8, 1679, there is the following notice,
quoted by Smith:--"At the request of several persons of quality, on
Saturday next, being the 9th instant, at the theatre in Dorset Gardens,
the famous Kentish men, Wm. and Rich. Joy, design to show to the town
before they leave it the same tryals of strength, both of them, that Wm.
had the honour of showing before his majesty and their royal highnesses,
with several other persons of quality, for which he received a
considerable gratuity. The lifting a weight of two thousand two hundred
and forty pounds. His holding an extraordinary large cart-horse; and
breaking a rope which will bear three thousand five hundred weight.
Beginning exactly at two, and ending at four. The boxes, 4s.; the pit,
2s. 6d.; first gallery, 2s.; upper gallery, 1s. Whereas several
scandalous persons have given out that they can do as much as any of the
brothers, we do offer to such persons £100 reward, if he can perform the
said matters of strength as they do, provided the pretender will forfeit
£20 if he doth not. The day it is performed will be affixed a
signal-flag on the theatre. No money to be returned after once paid."

In 1681 Dr. Davenant seems, by rather unfair tactics, to have bought off
and pensioned both Hart and Kynaston from the King's Company, and so to
have greatly weakened his rivals. Of these two actors some short notice
may not be uninteresting. Hart had been a Cavalier captain during the
Civil Wars, and was a pupil of Robinson, the actor, who was shot down at
the taking of Basing House. Hart was a tragedian who excelled in parts
that required a certain heroic and chivalrous dignity. As a youth,
before the Restoration, when boys played female parts, Hart was
successful as the Duchess, in Shirley's _Cardinal_. In Charles's time
he played Othello, by the king's command, and rivalled Betterton's
Hamlet at the other house. He created the part of Alexander, was
excellent as Brutus, and terribly and vigorously wicked as Ben Jonson's
Cataline. Rymer, says Dr. Doran, styled Hart and Mohun the Æsopus and
Roscius of their time. As Amintor and Melanthus, in _The Maid's
Tragedy_, they were incomparable. Pepys is loud too in his praises of
Hart. His salary, was, however, at the most, £3 a week, though he
realised £1,000 yearly after he became a shareholder of the theatre.
Hart died in 1683, within a year of his being bought off.

Kynaston, in his way, was also a celebrity. As a handsome boy he had
been renowned for playing heroines, and he afterwards acquired celebrity
by his dignified impersonation of kings and tyrants. Betterton, the
greatest of all the Charles II. actors, also played occasionally at
Dorset Gardens. Pope knew him; Dryden was his friend; Kneller painted
him. He was probably the greatest Hamlet that ever appeared; and Cibber
sums up all eulogy of him when he says, "I never heard a line in tragedy
come from Betterton wherein my judgment, my ear, and my imagination were
not fully satisfied, which since his time I cannot equally say of any
one actor whatsoever." The enchantment of his voice was such, adds the
same excellent dramatic critic, that the multitude no more cared for
sense in the words he spoke, "than our musical connoiseurs think it
essential in the celebrated airs of an Italian opera."

Even when Whitefriars was at its grandest, and plumes moved about its
narrow river-side streets, Dorset House was its central and most stately
mansion. It was originally a mansion with gardens, belonging to a Bishop
of Winchester; but about the year 1217 (Henry III.) a lease was granted
by William, Abbot of Westminster, to Richard, Bishop of Sarum, at the
yearly rent of twenty shillings, the Abbot retaining the advowson of St.
Bride's Church, and promising to impart to the said bishop any needful
ecclesiastical advice. It afterwards fell into the hands of the
Sackvilles, held at first by a long lease from the see, but was
eventually alienated by the good Bishop Jewel. A grant in 1611 (James
I.) confirmed the manor of Salisbury Court to Richard, Earl of Dorset.

[Illustration: BAYNARD'S CASTLE, FROM A VIEW PUBLISHED IN 1790 (_see
page 200_).]

The Earl of Dorset, to whom Bishop Jewel alienated the Whitefriars
House, was the father of the poet, Thomas Sackville, Lord High Treasurer
to Queen Elizabeth. The bishop received in exchange for the famous old
house a piece of land near Cricklade, in Wiltshire. The poet earl was
that wise old statesman who began "The Mirror for Magistrates," an
allegorical poem of gloomy power, in which the poet intended to make all
the great statesmen of England since the Conquest pass one by one to
tell their troublous stories. He, however, only lived to write one
legend--that of Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. One of his finest
and most Holbeinesque passages relates to old age:--

    "And next in order sad, Old Age we found;
    His beard all hoar, his eyes hollow and blind;
    With drooping cheer still poring on the ground,
    As on the place where Nature him assigned
    To rest, when that the sisters had untwined
    His vital thread, and ended with their knife
    The fleeting course of fast declining life.
    Crooked-back'd he was, tooth-shaken, and blear-eyed,
    Went on three feet, and sometimes crept on four,
    With old lame bones, that rattled by his side;
    His scalp all pil'd, and he with eld forelore,
    His wither'd fist still knocking at death's door;
    Fumbling and drivelling, as he draws his breath;
    For brief, the shape and messenger of death."

At the Restoration, the Marquis of Newcastle,--the author of a
magnificent book on horsemanship--and his pedantic wife, whom Scott has
sketched so well in "Peveril of the Peak," inhabited a part of Dorset
House; but whether Great Dorset House or Little Dorset House,
topographers do not record. "Great Dorset House," says Mr. Peter
Cunningham, quoting Lady Anne Clifford's "Memoirs," "was the jointure
house of Cicely Baker, Dowager Countess of Dorset, who died in it in
1615 (James I.)."

[Illustration: FALLING IN OF THE CHAPEL AT BLACKFRIARS (_see page
202_).]




CHAPTER XVIII.

BLACKFRIARS.

    Three Norman Fortresses on the Thames' Bank--The Black
    Parliament--The Trial of Katherine of Arragon--Shakespeare a
    Blackfriars Manager--The Blackfriars Puritans--The Jesuit Sermon at
    Hunsdon House--Fatal Accident--Extraordinary Escapes--Queen
    Elizabeth at Lord Herbert's Marriage--Old Blackfriars
    Bridge--Johnson and Mylne--Laying of the Stone--The Inscription--A
    Toll Riot--Failure of the Bridge--The New Bridge--Bridge Street--Sir
    Richard Phillips and his Works--Painters in Blackfriars--The King's
    Printing Office--Printing House Square--The _Times_ and its
    History--Walter's Enterprise--War with the _Dispatch_--- The
    gigantic Swindling Scheme exposed by the _Times_--Apothecaries'
    Hall--Quarrel with the College of Physicians.


On the river-side, between St. Paul's and Whitefriars, there stood, in
the Middle Ages, three Norman fortresses. Castle Baynard and the old
tower of Mountfiquet were two of them. Baynard Castle, granted to the
Earls of Clare and afterwards rebuilt by Humphrey Duke of Gloucester,
was the palace in which the Duke of Buckingham offered the crown to his
wily confederate, Richard the Crookback. In Queen Elizabeth's time it
was granted to the Earls of Pembroke, who lived there in splendour till
the Great Fire melted their gold, calcined their jewels, and drove them
into the fashionable flood that was already moving westward. Mountfiquet
Castle was pulled down in 1276, when Hubert de Berg, Earl of Kent,
transplanted a colony of Black Dominican friars from Holborn, near
Lincoln's Inn, to the river-side, south of Ludgate Hill. Yet so
conservative is even Time in England, that a recent correspondent of
_Notes and Queries_ points out a piece of mediæval walling and the
fragment of a buttress, still standing, at the foot of the _Times_
Office, in Printing House Square, which seem to have formed part of the
stronghold of the Mountfiquets. This interesting relic is on the left
hand of Queen Victoria Street, going up from the bridge, just where
there was formerly a picturesque but dangerous descent by a flight of
break-neck stone steps. At the right-hand side of the same street stands
an old rubble chalk wall, even older. It is just past the new house of
the Bible Society, and seems to have formed part of the old City wall,
which at first ended at Baynard Castle. The rampart advanced to
Mountfiquet, and, lastly, to please and protect the Dominicans, was
pushed forward outside Ludgate to the Fleet, which served as a moat, the
Old Bailey being an advanced work.

King Edward I. and Queen Eleanor heaped many gifts on these sable
friars. Charles V. of France was lodged at their monastery when he
visited England, but his nobles resided in Henry's newly-built palace of
Bridewell, a gallery being thrown over the Fleet and driven through the
City wall, to serve as a communication between the two mansions. Henry
held the "Black Parliament" in this monastery, and here Cardinal
Campeggio presided at the trial which ended with the tyrant's divorce
from the ill-used Katherine of Arragon. In the same house the Parliament
also sat that condemned Wolsey, and sent him to beg "a little earth for
charity" of the monks of Leicester. The rapacious king laid his rough
hand on the treasures of the house in 1538, and Edward VI. sold the hall
and prior's lodgings to Sir Francis Bryan, a courtier, afterwards
granting Sir Francis Cawarden, Master of the Revels, the whole house and
precincts of the Preacher Friars, the yearly value being then valued at
nineteen pounds. The holy brothers were dispersed to beg or thieve, and
the church was pulled down, but the mischievous right of sanctuary
continued.

And now we come to the event which connects the old monastic ground with
the name of the great genius of England. James Burbage (afterwards
Shakespeare's friend and fellow actor), and other servants of the Earl
of Leicester, tormented out of the City by the angry edicts of
over-scrupulous Lord Mayors, took shelter in the Precinct, and there, in
1578, erected a playhouse (Playhouse Yard). Every attempt was in vain
made to crush the intruders. About the year 1586, according to the best
authorities, the young Shakespeare came to London and joined the company
at the Blackfriars Theatre. Only three years later we find the new
arrival--and this is one of the unsolvable mysteries of Shakespeare's
life--one of sixteen sharers in the prosperous though persecuted
theatre. It is true that Mr. Halliwell has lately discovered that he was
not exactly a proprietor, but only an actor, receiving a share of the
profits of the house, exclusive of the galleries (the boxes and dress
circle of those days), but this is, after all, only a lessening of the
difficulty; and it is almost as remarkable that a young, unknown
Warwickshire poet should receive such profits as it is that he should
have held a sixteenth of the whole property. Without the generous
patronage of such patrons as the Earl of Southampton or Lord Brooke, how
could the young actor have thriven? He was only twenty-six, and may have
written "Venus and Adonis" or "Lucrece;" yet the first of these poems
was not published till 1593. He may already, it is true, have adapted
one or two tolerably successful historical plays, and, as Mr. Collier
thinks, might have written _The Comedy of Errors_, _Love's Labour's
Lost_, or _The Two Gentlemen of Verona_. One thing is certain, that in
1587 five companies of players, including the Blackfriars Company,
performed at Stratford, and in his native town Mr. Collier thinks
Shakespeare first proved himself useful to his new comrades.

In 1589 the Lord Mayor closed two theatres for ridiculing the Puritans.
Burbage and his friends, alarmed at this, petitioned the Privy Council,
and pleaded that they had never introduced into their plays matters of
state or religion. The Blackfriars company, in 1593, began to build a
summer theatre, the Globe, in Southwark; and Mr. Collier, remembering
that this was the very year "Venus and Adonis" was published, attributes
some great gift of the Earl of Southampton to Shakespeare to have
immediately followed this poem, which was dedicated to him. By 1594 the
poet had written _King Richard II._ and _King Richard III._, and
Burbage's son Richard had made himself famous as the first
representative of the crook-backed king. In 1596 we find Shakespeare and
his partners (only eight now) petitioning the Privy Council to allow
them to repair and enlarge their theatre, which the Puritans of
Blackfriars wanted to close. The Council allowed the repairs, but
forbade the enlargement. At this time Shakespeare was living near the
Bear Garden, Southwark, to be close to the Globe. He was now evidently a
thriving, "warm" man, for in 1597 he purchased for £60 New Place, one of
the best houses in Stratford. In 1613 we find Shakespeare purchasing a
plot of ground not far from Blackfriars Theatre, and abutting on a
street leading down to Puddle Wharf, "right against the king's majesty's
wardrobe;" but he had retired to Stratford, and given up London and the
stage before this. The deed of this sale was sold in 1841 for £162 5s.

In 1608 the Lord Mayor and aldermen of London made a final attempt to
crush the Blackfriars players, but failing to prove to the Lord
Chancellor that the City had ever exercised any authority within the
precinct and liberty of Blackfriars, their cause fell to the ground. The
Corporation then opened a negotiation for purchase with Burbage,
Shakespeare, and the other (now nine) shareholders. The players asked
about £7,000, Shakespeare's four shares being valued at £1,433 6s. 8d.,
including the wardrobe and properties, estimated at £500. The poet's
income at this time Mr. Collier estimates at £400 a year. The
Blackfriars Theatre was pulled down in Cromwell's time (1655), and
houses built in its room.

Randolph, the dramatist, a pupil of Ben Jonson's, ridicules, in _The
Muses' Looking-Glass_, that strange "morality" play of his, the Puritan
feather-sellers of Blackfriars, whom Ben Jonson also taunts; Randolph's
pretty Puritan, Mrs. Flowerdew, says of the ungodly of Blackfriars:--

    "Indeed, it sometimes pricks my conscience,
    I come to sell 'em pins and looking-glasses."

To which her friend, Mr. Bird, replies, with the sly sanctity of
Tartuffe:--

    "I have this custom, too, for my feathers;
    'Tis fit that we, which are sincere professors,
    Should gain by infidels."

Ben Jonson, that smiter of all such hypocrites, wrote _Volpone_ at his
house in Blackfriars, where he laid the scene of _The Alchymist_. The
Friars were fashionable, however, in spite of the players, for Vandyke
lived in the precinct for nine years (he died in 1641); and the wicked
Earl and Countess of Somerset resided in the same locality when they
poisoned their former favourite, Sir Thomas Overbury. As late as 1735,
Mr. Peter Cunningham says, there was an attempt to assert precinct
privileges, but years before sheriffs had arrested in the Friars.

In 1623 Blackfriars was the scene of a most fatal and extraordinary
accident. It occurred in the chief house of the Friary, then a district
declining fast in respectability. Hunsdon House derived its name from
Queen Elizabeth's favourite cousin, the Lord Chamberlain, Henry Carey,
Baron Hunsdon, and was at the time occupied by Count de Tillier, the
French ambassador. About three o'clock on Sunday, October 26th, a large
Roman Catholic congregation of about three hundred persons, worshipping
to a certain degree in stealth, not without fear from the Puritan
feather-makers of the theatrical neighbourhood, had assembled in a long
garret on the third and uppermost storey. Master Drury, a Jesuit prelate
of celebrity, had drawn together this crowd of timid people. The garret,
looking over the gateway, was approached by a passage having a door
opening into the street, and also by a corridor from the ambassador's
withdrawing-room. The garret was about seventeen feet wide and forty
feet long, with a vestry for a priest partitioned off at one end. In the
middle of the garret, and near the wall, stood a raised table and chair
for the preacher. The gentry sat on chairs and stools facing the pulpit,
the rest stood behind, crowding as far as the head of the stairs. At the
appointed hour Master Drury, the priest, came from the inner room in
white robe and scarlet stole, an attendant carrying a book and an
hour-glass, by which to measure his sermon. He knelt down at the chair
for about an Ave Maria, but uttered no audible prayer. He then took the
Jesuits' Testament, and read for the text the Gospel for the day, which
was, according to the Gregorian Calendar, the twenty-first Sunday after
Pentecost--"Therefore is the kingdom of heaven like unto a man being a
king that would make an account of his servants. And when he began to
make account there was one presented unto him that owed him ten thousand
talents." Having read the text, the Jesuit preacher sat down, and
putting on his head a red quilt cap, with a white linen one beneath it,
commenced his sermon. He had spoken for about half an hour when the
calamity happened. The great weight of the crowd in the old room
suddenly snapped the main summer beam of the floor, which instantly
crashed in and fell into the room below. The main beams there also
snapped and broke through to the ambassador's drawing-room over the
gatehouse, a distance of twenty-two feet. Only a part, however, of the
gallery floor, immediately over Father Rudgate's chamber, a small room
used for secret mass, gave way. The rest of the floor, being less
crowded, stood firm, and the people on it, having no other means of
escape, drew their knives and cut a way through a plaster wall into a
neighbouring room.

A contemporary pamphleteer, who visited the ruins and wrote fresh from
the first outburst of sympathy, says: "What ear without tingling can
bear the doleful and confused cries of such a troop of men, women, and
children, all falling suddenly in the same pit, and apprehending with
one horror the same ruin? What eye can behold without inundation of
tears such a spectacle of men overwhelmed with breaches of mighty
timber, buried in rubbish and smothered with dust? What heart without
evaporating in sighs can ponder the burden of deepest sorrows and
lamentations of parents, children, husbands, wives, kinsmen, friends,
for their dearest pledges and chiefest comforts? This world all bereft
and swept away with one blast of the same dismal tempest."

The news of the accident fast echoing through London, Serjeant Finch,
the Recorder, and the Lord Mayor and aldermen at once provided for the
safety of the ambassador's family, who were naturally shaking in their
shoes, and shutting up the gates to keep off the curious and thievish
crowd, set guards at all the Blackfriars passages. Workmen were employed
to remove the _débris_ and rescue the sufferers who were still alive.
The pamphleteer, again rousing himself to the occasion, and turning on
his tears, says:--"At the opening hereof what a chaos! what fearful
objects! what lamentable representations! Here some buried, some
dismembered, some only parts of men; here some wounded and weltering in
their own and others' blood; others putting forth their fainting hands
and crying out for help. Here some gasping and panting for breath;
others stifled for want of air. So the most of them being thus covered
with dust, their death was a kind of burial." All that night and part of
the next day the workmen spent in removing the bodies, and the inquest
was then held. It was found that the main beams were only ten inches
square, and had two mortise-holes, where the girders were inserted,
facing each other, so that only three inches of solid timber were left.
The main beam of the lower room, about thirteen inches square, without
mortise-holes, broke obliquely near the end. No wall gave way, and the
roof and ceiling of the garret remained entire. Father Drury perished,
as did also Father Rudgate, who was in his own apartment, underneath.
Lady Webb, of Southwark, Lady Blackstone's daughter, from Scroope's
Court, Mr. Fowell, a Warwickshire gentleman, and many tradesmen,
servants, and artisans--ninety-five in all--perished. Some of the
escapes seemed almost miraculous. Mistress Lucie Penruddock fell between
Lady Webb and a servant, who were both killed, yet was saved by her
chair falling over her head. Lady Webb's daughter was found alive near
her dead mother, and a girl named Elizabeth Sanders was also saved by
the dead who fell and covered her. A Protestant scholar, though one of
the very undermost, escaped by the timbers arching over him and some of
them slanting against the wall. He tore a way out through the laths of
the ceiling by main strength, then crept between two joists to a hole
where he saw light, and was drawn through a door by one of the
ambassador's family. He at once returned to rescue others. There was a
girl of ten who cried to him, "Oh, my mother!--oh, my sister!--they are
down under the timber." He told her to be patient, and by God's grace
they would be quickly got forth. The child replied, "This will be a
great scandal to our religion." One of the men that fell said to a
fellow-sufferer, "Oh, what advantage our adversaries will take at this!"
The other replied, "If it be God's will this should befall us, what can
we say to it?" One gentleman was saved by keeping near the stairs, while
his friend, who had pushed near the pulpit, perished.

Many of those who were saved died in a few hours after their
extrication. The bodies of Lady Webb, Mistress Udall, and Lady
Blackstone's daughter, were carried to Ely House, Holborn, and there
buried in the back courtyard. In the fore courtyard, by the French
ambassador's house, a huge grave, eighteen feet long and twelve feet
broad, was dug, and forty-four corpses piled within it. In another pit,
twelve feet long and eight feet broad, in the ambassador's garden, they
buried fifteen more. Others were interred in St. Andrew's, St. Bride's,
and Blackfriars churches. The list of the killed and wounded is curious,
from its topographical allusions. Amongst other entries, we find "John
Halifax, a water-bearer" (in the old times of street conduits the
water-bearer was an important person); "a son of Mr. Flood, the
scrivener, in Holborn; a man of Sir Ives Pemberton; Thomas Brisket, his
wife, son, and maid, in Montague Close; Richard Fitzgarret, of Gray's
Inn, gentleman; Davie, an Irishman, in Angell Alley, Gray's Inn,
gentleman; Sarah Watson, daughter of Master Watson, chirurgeon; Master
Grimes, near the 'Horse Shoe' tavern, in Drury Lane; John Bevan, at the
'Seven Stars', in Drury Lane; Francis Man, Thieving Lane, Westminster,"
&c. As might have been expected, the fanatics of both parties had much
to say about this terrible accident. The Catholics declared that the
Protestants, knowing this to be a chief place of meeting for men of
their faith, had secretly drawn out the pins, or sawn the supporting
timbers partly asunder. The Protestants, on the other hand, lustily
declared that the planks would not bear such a weight of Romish sin, and
that God was displeased with their pulpits and altars, their doctrine
and sacrifice. One zealot remembered that, at the return of Prince
Charles from the madcap expedition to Spain, a Catholic had lamented, or
was said to have lamented, the street bonfires, as there would be never
a fagot left to burn the heretics. "If it had been a Protestant chapel,"
the Puritans cried, "the Jesuits would have called the calamity an omen
of the speedy downfall of heresy." A Catholic writer replied "with a
word of comfort," and pronounced the accident to be a presage of good
fortune to Catholics and of the overthrow of error and heresy. This
zealous, but not well-informed, writer compared Father Drury's death
with that of Zuinglius, who fell in battle, and with that of Calvin,
"who, being in despair, and calling upon the devil, gave up his wicked
soul, swearing, cursing, and blaspheming." So intolerance, we see, is
neither specially Protestant nor Catholic, but of every party. "The
Fatal Vespers," as that terrible day at Blackfriars was afterwards
called, were long remembered with a shudder by Catholic England.

In a curious old pamphlet entitled "Something Written by Occasion of
that Fatall and Memorable Accident in the Blacke-friers, on Sonday,
being the 26th October, 1623, _stilo antiquo_, and the 5th November,
_stilo novo_, or _Romano_" the author relates a singular escape of one
of the listeners. "When all things were ready," he says, "and the prayer
finished, the Jesuite tooke for his text the gospell of the day, being
(as I take it) the 22nd Sunday after Trinity, and extracted out of the
18th of Matthew, beginning at the 21st verse, to the end. The story
concerns forgiveness of sinnes, and describeth the wicked cruelty of the
unjust steward, whom his maister remitted, though he owed him 10,000
talents, but he would not forgive his fellow a 100 pence, whereupon he
was called to a new reckoning, and cast into prison, and then the
particular words are, which he insisted upon, the 34th verse: 'So his
master was wroth, and delivered him to the jaylor, till he should pay
all that was due to him.' For the generall, he urged many good doctrines
and cases; for the particular, he modelled out that fantasie of
purgatory, which he followed with a full crie of pennance, satisfaction,
paying of money, and such like.

"While this exercise was in hand, a gentleman brought up his friend to
see the place, and bee partaker of the sermon, who all the time he was
going up stairs cried out, 'Whither doe I goe? I protest my heart
trembles;' and when he came into the roome, the priest being very loud,
he whispered his friend in the eare that he was afraid, for, as he
supposed, the room did shake under him; at which his friend, between
smiling and anger, left him, and went close to the wall behind the
preacher's chaire. The gentleman durst not stirre from the staires, and
came not full two yards in the roome, when on a sudden there was a kinde
of murmuring amongst the people, and some were heard to say, 'The roome
shakes;' which words being taken up one of another, the whole company
rose up with a strong suddainnesse, and some of the women screeched. I
cannot compare it better than to many passengers in a boat in a tempest,
who are commanded to sit still and let the waterman alone with managing
the oares, but some unruly people rising overthrowes them all. So was
this company served; for the people thus affrighted started up with
extraordinary quicknesse, and at an instant the maine summer beame broke
in sunder, being mortised in the wall some five foot from the same; and
so the whole roofe or floore fell at once, with all the people that
stood thronging on it, and with the violent impetuosity drove downe the
nether roome quite to the ground, so that they fell twenty-four foot
high, and were most of them buried and bruised betweene the rubbish and
the timber; and though some were questionlesse smothered, yet for the
most part they were hurt and bled, and being taken forth the next day,
and laid all along in the gallery, presented to the lookers-on a wofull
spectacle of fourscore and seventeen dead persons, besides eight or nine
which perished since, unable to recover themselves."

[Illustration: RICHARD BURBAGE, FROM THE ORIGINAL PORTRAIT IN DULWICH
COLLEGE (_see page 201_).]

"They that kept themselves close to the walls, or remained by the
windows, or held by the rafters, or settled themselves by the stayres,
or were driven away by fear and suspition, sauved themselves without
further hurt; but such as seemed more devoute, and thronged neere the
preacher, perished in a moment with himselfe and other priests and
Jesuites; and this was the summe of that unhappy disaster."

In earlier days Blackfriars had been a locality much inhabited by
fashionable people, especially about the time of Queen Elizabeth.
Pennant quotes from the _Sydney Papers_ a curious account of a grand
festivity at the house of Lord Herbert, which the Queen honoured by her
attendance. The account is worth inserting, if only for the sake of a
characteristic bit of temper which the Queen exhibited on the occasion.

"Lord Herbert, son of William, fourth Earl of Worcester," says Pennant,
"had a house in Blackfriars, which Queen Elizabeth, in 1600, honoured
with her presence, on occasion of his nuptials with the daughter and
heiress of John, Lord Russell, son of Francis, Earl of Bedford. The
queen was met at the waterside by the bride, and carried to her house in
a _lectica_ by six knights. Her majesty dined there, and supped in the
same neighbourhood with Lord Cobham, where there was 'a memorable maske
of eight ladies, and a strange dawnce new invented. Their attire is
this: each hath a skirt of cloth of silver, a mantell of coruscian
taffete, cast under the arme, and their haire loose about their
shoulders, curiously knotted and interlaced. Mrs. Fitton leade. These
eight ladys maskers choose eight ladies more to dawnce the measures.
Mrs. Fitton went to the queen and woed her dawnce. Her majesty (the love
of Essex rankling in her heart) asked what she was? "_Affection_," she
said. "_Affection!_" said the queen; "_affection_ is false"; yet her
majestie rose up and dawnced. At this time the queen was sixty. Surely,
as Mr. Walpole observed, it was at that period as natural for her as to
be in love! I must not forget that in her passage from the bride's to
Lord Cobham's she went through the house of Dr. Puddin, and was
presented by the doctor with a fan."

[Illustration: LAYING THE FOUNDATION-STONE OF BLACKFRIARS BRIDGE, 1760,
FROM A CONTEMPORARY PRINT (_see page 206_).]

Old Blackfriars Bridge, pulled down a few years since, was begun in
1760, and first opened on Sunday, November 19, 1769. It was built from
the design of Robert Mylne, a clever young Scotch engineer, whose family
had been master masons to the kings of Scotland for five hundred years.
Mylne had just returned from a professional tour in Italy, where he had
followed in the footsteps of Vitruvius, and gained the first prize at
the Academy of St. Luke. He arrived in London friendless and unknown,
and at once entered into competition with twenty other architects for
the new bridge. Among these rivals was Smeaton, the great engineer (a
_protégé_ of Lord Bute's), and Dr. Johnson's friend, Gwynn, well known
for his admirable work on London improvements. The committee were,
however, just enough to be unanimous in favouring the young unknown
Scotchman, and he carried off the prize. Directly it was known that
Mylne's arches were to be elliptical, every one unacquainted with the
subject began to write in favour of the semi-circular arch. Among the
champions Dr. Johnson was, if not the most ignorant, the most rash. He
wrote three letters to the printer of the _Gazetteer_, praising Gwynn's
plans and denouncing the Scotch conqueror. Gwynn had "coached" the
learned Doctor in a very unsatisfactory way. In his early days the giant
of Bolt Court had been accustomed to get up subjects rapidly, but the
science of architecture was not so easily digested. The Doctor contended
"that the first excellence of a bridge built for commerce over a large
river is strength." So far so good; but he then went on to try and show
that the pointed arch is necessarily weak, and here he himself broke
down. He allowed that there was an elliptical bridge at Florence, but he
said carts were not allowed to go over it, which proved its fragility.
He also condemned a proposed cast-iron parapet, in imitation of one at
Rome, as too poor and trifling for a great design. He allowed that a
certain arch of Perault's was elliptical, but then he contended that it
had to be held together by iron clamps. He allowed that Mr. Mylne had
gained the prize at Rome, but the competitors, the arrogant despot of
London clubs asserted, were only boys; and, moreover, architecture had
sunk so low at Rome, that even the Pantheon had been deformed by petty
decorations. In his third letter the Doctor grew more scientific, and
even more confused. He was very angry with Mr. Mylne's friends for
asserting that though a semi-ellipse might be weaker than a semicircle,
it had quite strength enough to support a bridge. "I again venture to
declare," he wrote--"I again venture to declare, in defiance of all this
contemptuous superiority" (how arrogant men hate other people's
arrogance!), "that a straight line will bear no weight. Not even the
science of Vasari will make that form strong which the laws of nature
have condemned to weakness. By the position that a straight line will
bear nothing is meant that it receives no strength from straightness;
for that many bodies laid in straight lines will support weight by the
cohesion of their parts, every one has found who has seen dishes on a
shelf, or a thief upon the gallows. It is not denied that stones may be
so crushed together by enormous pressure on each side, that a heavy mass
may be safely laid upon them; but the strength must be derived merely
from the lateral resistance, and the line so loaded will be itself part
of the load. The semi-elliptical arch has one recommendation yet
unexamined. We are told that it is difficult of execution."

In the face of this noisy newspaper thunder, Mylne went on, and produced
one of the most beautiful bridges in England for £152,640 3s. 10d.,
actually £163 less than the original estimate--an admirable example for
all architects, present and to come. The bridge, which had eight arches,
and was 995 yards from wharf to wharf, was erected in ten years and
three quarters. Mylne received £500 a year and ten per cent. on the
expenditure. His claims, however, were disputed, and not allowed by the
grateful City till 1776. The bridge-tolls were bought by Government in
1785, and the passage then became free. It was afterwards lowered, and
the open parapet, condemned by Johnson, removed. It was supposed that
Mylne's mode of centreing was a secret, but in contempt of all quackery
he deposited exact models of his system in the British Museum. He was
afterwards made surveyor of St. Paul's Cathedral, and in 1811 was
interred near the tomb of Wren. He was a despot amongst his workmen, and
ruled them with a rod of iron. However, the foundations of this bridge
were never safely built, and latterly the piers began visibly to
subside. The semi-circular arches would have been far stronger.

The foundation-stone of Blackfriars Bridge was laid by Sir Thomas
Chitty, Lord Mayor, on the 31st of October, 1760. Horace Walpole, always
Whiggish, describing the event, says:--"The Lord Mayor laid the first
stone of the new bridge yesterday. There is an inscription on it in
honour of Mr. Pitt, which has a very Roman air, though very
unclassically expressed. They talk of the contagion of his public
spirit; I believe they had not got rid of their panic about mad dogs."
Several gold, silver, and copper coins of the reign of George II. (just
dead) were placed under the stone, with a silver medal presented to Mr.
Mylne by the Academy of St. Luke's, and upon two plates of tin--Bonnel
Thornton said they should have been lead--was engraved a very shaky
Latin inscription, thus rendered into English:--

    On the last day of October, in the year 1760,
    And in the beginning of the most auspicious reign of
    GEORGE the Third,
    Sir THOMAS CHITTY, Knight, Lord Mayor,
    laid the first stone of this Bridge,
    undertaken by the Common Council of London
    (amidst the rage of an extensive war)
    for the public accommodation
    and ornament of the City;
    ROBERT MYLNE being the architect.
    And that there might remain to posterity
    a monument of this city's affection to the man
    who, by the strength of his genius,
    the steadiness of his mind,
    and a certain kind of happy contagion of his
    Probity and Spirit
    (under the Divine favour
    and fortunate auspices of GEORGE the Second)
    recovered, augmented, and secured
    the British Empire
    in Asia, Africa, and America,
    and restored the ancient reputation
    and influence of his country
    amongst the nations of Europe;
    the citizens of London have unanimously voted this
    Bridge to be inscribed with the name of
    WILLIAM PITT.

On this pretentious and unlucky inscription, that reckless wit, Bonnel
Thornton, instantly wrote a squib, under the obvious pseudonym of the
"Rev. Busby Birch." In these critical and political remarks (which he
entitled "City Latin") the gay scoffer professed in his preface to prove
"almost every word and every letter to be erroneous and contrary to the
practice of both ancients and moderns in this kind of writing," and
appended a plan or pattern for a new inscription. The clever little
lampoon soon ran to three editions. The ordinary of Newgate, my lord's
chaplain, or the masters of Merchant Taylors', Paul's, or Charterhouse
schools, who produced the wonderful pontine inscription, must have
winced under the blows of this jester's bladderful of peas. Thornton
laughed most at the awkward phrase implying that Mr. Pitt had caught the
happy contagion of his own probity and spirit. He said that "Gulielmi
Pitt" should have been "Gulielmi Fossæ." Lastly, he proposed, for a more
curt and suitable inscription, the simple words--

    "GUIL. FOSSÆ,
    Patri Patriæ D.D.D. (_i.e._, Datur, Dicatur, Dedicatur)."

Party feeling, as usual at those times, was rife. Mylne was a friend of
Paterson, the City solicitor, an apt scribbler and a friend of Lord
Bute, who no doubt favoured his young countryman. For, being a
Scotchman, Johnson no doubt took pleasure in opposing him, and for the
same reason Churchill, in his bitter poem on the Cock Lane ghost, after
ridiculing Johnson's credulity, goes out of his way to sneer at Mylne:--

    "What of that bridge which, void of sense,
    But well supplied with impudence,
    Englishmen, knowing not the Guild,
    Thought they might have the claim to build;
    Till Paterson, as white as milk,
    As smooth as oil, as soft as silk,
    In solemn manner had decreed
    That, on the other side the Tweed,
    Art, born and bred and fully grown,
    Was with one Mylne, a man unknown?
    But grace, preferment, and renown
    Deserving, just arrived in town;
    One Mylne, an artist, perfect quite,
    Both in his own and country's right,
    As fit to make a bridge as he,
    With glorious Patavinity,
    To build inscriptions, worthy found
    To lie for ever underground."

In 1766 it was opened for foot passengers, the completed portion being
connected with the shore by a temporary wooden structure; two years
later it was made passable for horses, and in 1769 it was fully opened.
An unpopular toll of one halfpenny on week-days for every person, and of
one penny on Sundays, was exacted. The result of this was that while the
Gordon Riots were raging, in 1780, the too zealous Protestants,
forgetting for a time the poor tormented Papists, attacked and burned
down the toll-gates, stole the money, and destroyed all the
account-books. Several rascals' lives were lost, and one rioter, being
struck with a bullet, ran howling for thirty or forty yards, and then
dropped down dead. Nevertheless, the iniquitous toll continued until
1785, when it was redeemed by Government.

The bridge, according to the order of Common Council, was first named
Pitt Bridge, and the adjacent streets (in honour of the great earl)
Chatham Place, William Street, and Earl Street. But the first name of
the bridge soon dropped off, and the monastic locality asserted its
prior right. This is the more remarkable (as Mr. Timbs judiciously
observes), because with another Thames bridge the reverse change took
place. Waterloo Bridge was first called Strand Bridge, but it was soon
dedicated by the people to the memory of the most famous of British
victories.

The £152,640 that the bridge cost does not include the £5,830 spent in
altering and filling up the Fleet Ditch, or the £2,167 the cost of the
temporary wooden bridge. The piers, of bad Portland stone, were
decorated by some columns of unequal sizes, and the line of parapet was
low and curved. The approaches to the bridge were also designed by
Mylne, who built himself a house at the corner of Little Bridge Street.
The walls of the rooms were adorned with classical medallions, and on
the exterior was the date (1780), with Mylne's crest, and the initials
"R.M." Dr. Johnson became a friend of Mylne's, and dined with him at
this residence at least on one occasion. The house afterwards became the
"York Hotel," and, according to Mr. Timbs, was taken down in 1863.

The Bridge repairs (between 1833 and 1840), by Walker and Burgess,
engineers, at an expense of £74,000, produced a loss to the contractors;
and the removal of the cornice and balustrade spoiled the bridge, from
whence old Richard Wilson, the landscape-painter, used to come and
admire the grand view of St. Paul's. The bridge seemed to be as unlucky
as if it had incurred Dr. Johnson's curse. In 1843 the Chamberlain
reported to the Common Council that the sum of £100,960 had been already
expended in repairing Mylne's faulty work, besides the £800 spent in
procuring a local Act (4 William IV.). According to a subsequent report,
£10,200 had been spent in six years in repairing one arch alone. From
1851 to 1859 the expenditure had been at the rate of £600 a year.
Boswell, indeed, with all his zealous partiality for the Scotch
architect, had allowed that the best Portland stone belonged to
Government quarries, and from this Parliamentary interest had debarred
Mylne.

The tardy Common Council was at last forced, in common decency, to build
a new bridge. The architect began by building a temporary structure of
great strength. It consisted of two storeys--the lower for carriages,
the upper for pedestrians--and stretching 990 feet from wharf to wharf.
The lower piles were driven ten feet into the bed of the river, and
braced with horizontal and diagonal bracings. The demolition began with
vigour in 1864. In four months only, the navigators' brawny arms had
removed twenty thousand tons of earth, stone, and rubble above the
turning of the arches, and the pulling down those enemies of Dr. Johnson
commenced by the removal of the keystone of the second arch on the
Surrey side. The masonry of the arches proved to be rather thinner than
it appeared to be, and was stuffed with river ballast, mixed with bones
and small old-fashioned pipes. The bridge had taken nearly ten years to
build; it was entirely demolished in less than a year, and rebuilt in
two. In some cases the work of removal and re-construction went on
harmoniously and simultaneously side by side. Ingenious steam cranes
travelled upon rails laid on the upper scaffold beams, and lifted the
blocks of stone with playful ease and speed. In December, 1864, the men
worked in the evenings, by the aid of naphtha lamps.

According to a report printed in the _Times_, Blackfriars Bridge had
suffered from the removal of London Bridge, which served as a mill-dam,
to restrain the speed and scour of the river.

Twelve designs had been sent in at the competition, and, singularly
enough, among the competitors was a Mr. Mylne, grandson of Johnson's
foe. The design of Mr. Page was first selected, as the handsomest and
cheapest. It consisted of only three arches. Ultimately Mr. Joseph
Cubitt won the prize. Cubitt's bridge has five arches, the centre one
eighty-nine feet span; the style, Venetian Gothic; the cost, £265,000.
The piers are grey, the columns red, granite; the bases and capitals are
of carved Portland stone; the bases, balustrades, and roads of somewhat
over-ornamented iron.

The _Quarterly Review_, of April, 1872, contains the following bitter
criticisms of the new double bridge:--"With Blackfriars Bridge," says
the writer, "we find the public thoroughly well pleased, though the
design is really a wonder of depravity. Polished granite columns of
amazing thickness, with carved capitals of stupendous weight, all made
to give shop-room for an apple-woman, or a convenient platform for a
suicide. The parapet is a fiddle-faddle of pretty cast-iron arcading,
out of scale with the columns, incongruous with the capitals, and quite
unsuited for a work that should be simply grand in its usefulness; and
at each corner of the bridge is a huge block of masonry, _àpropos_ of
nothing, a well-known evidence of desperate imbecility."

Bridge Street is too new for many traditions. Its chief hero is that
active-minded and somewhat shallow speculator, Sir Richard Phillips, the
bookseller and projector. An interesting memoir by Mr. Timbs, his
intimate friend, furnishes us with many curious facts, and shows how the
publisher of Bridge Street impinged on many of the most illustrious of
his contemporaries, and how in a way he pushed forward the good work
which afterwards owed so much to Mr. Charles Knight. Phillips, born in
London in 1767, was educated in Soho Square, and afterwards at Chiswick,
where he remembered often seeing Hogarth's widow and Dr. Griffith, of
the _Monthly Review_ (Goldsmith's tyrant), attending church. He was
brought up to be a brewer, but in 1788 settled as a schoolmaster, first
at Chester and afterwards at Leicester. At Leicester he opened a
bookseller's shop, started a newspaper (the _Leicester Herald_), and
established a philosophical society. Obnoxious as a Radical, he was at
last entrapped for selling Tom Paine's "Rights of Man," and was sent to
gaol for eighteen months, where he was visited by Lord Moira, the Duke
of Norfolk, and other advanced men of the day. His house being burned
down, he removed to London, and projected a Sunday newspaper, but
eventually Mr. Bell stole the idea and started the _Messenger_. In 1795
this restless and energetic man commenced the _Monthly Magazine_. Before
this he had already been a hosier, a tutor, and a speculator in canals.
The politico-literary magazine was advertised by circulars sent to
eminent men of the opposition in commercial parcels, to save the
enormous postage of those unregenerate days. Dr. Aiken, the literary
editor, afterwards started a rival magazine, called the _Athenæum_. The
_Gentleman's Magazine_ never rose to a circulation above 10,000, which
soon sank to 3,000. Phillips's magazine sold about 3,750. With all these
multifarious pursuits, Phillips was an antiquary--purchasing Wolsey's
skull for a shilling, a portion of his stone coffin, that had been
turned into a horse-trough at the "White Horse" inn, Leicester; and
Rufus's stirrup, from a descendant of the charcoal-burner who drove the
body of the slain king to Winchester.

As a pushing publisher Phillips soon distinguished himself, for the
Liberals came to him, and he had quite enough sense to discover if a
book was good. He produced many capital volumes of Ana, on the French
system, and memoirs of Foote, Monk, Lewes, Wilkes, and Lady Mary Wortley
Montagu. He published Holcroft's "Travels," Godwin's best novels, and
Miss Owenson's (Lady Morgan's) first work, "The Novice of St. Dominick."
In 1807, when he removed to New Bridge Street, he served the office of
sheriff; was knighted on presenting an address, and effected many
reforms in the prisons and lock-up houses. In his useful "Letter to the
Livery of London" he computes the number of writs then annually issued
at 24,000; the sheriffs' expenses at £2,000. He also did his best to
repress the cruelties of the mob to poor wretches in the pillory. He was
a steady friend of Alderman Waithman, and was with him in the carriage
at the funeral of Queen Caroline, in 1821, when a bullet from a
soldier's carbine passed through the carriage window near Hyde Park. In
1809 Phillips had some reverses, and breaking up his publishing-office
in Bridge Street, devoted himself to the profitable reform of
school-books, publishing them under the names of Goldsmith, Mavor, and
Blair.

This active-minded man was the first to assert that Dr. Wilmot wrote
"Junius," and to start the celebrated scandal about George III. and the
young Quakeress, Hannah Lightfoot, daughter of a linendraper, at the
corner of Market Street, St. James's. She afterwards, it is said,
married a grocer, named Axford, on Ludgate Hill, was then carried off by
the prince, and bore him three sons, who in time became generals. The
story is perhaps traceable to Dr. Wilmot, whose daughter married the
Duke of Cumberland. Phillips found time to attack the Newtonian theory
of gravitation, to advocate a memorial to Shakespeare, to compile a book
containing a million of facts, to write on Divine philosophy, and to
suggest (as he asserted) to Mr. Brougham, in 1825, the first idea of the
Society for Useful Knowledge. Almost ruined by the failures during the
panic in 1826, he retired to Brighton, and there pushed forward his
books and his interrogative system of education. Sir Richard's greatest
mistakes, he used to say, had been the rejection of Byron's early poems,
of "Waverley," of Bloomfield's "Farmer's Boy," and O'Meara's "Napoleon
in Exile." He always stoutly maintained his claim to the suggestion of
the "Percy Anecdotes." Phillips died in 1840. Superficial as he was, and
commercial as were his literary aims, we nevertheless cannot refuse him
the praise awarded in his epitaph:--"He advocated civil liberty, general
benevolence, ascendancy of justice, and the improvement of the human
race."

The old monastic ground of the Black Friars seems to have been beloved
by painters, for, as we have seen, Vandyke lived luxuriously here, and
was frequently visited by Charles I. and his Court. Cornelius Jansen,
the great portrait-painter of James's Court, arranged his black
draperies and ground his fine carnations in the same locality; and at
the same time Isaac Oliver, the exquisite Court miniature-painter, dwelt
in the same place. It was to him Lady Ayres, to the rage of her jealous
husband, came for a portrait of Lord Herbert of Cherbury, an imprudence
that very nearly led to the assassination of the poet-lord, who believed
himself so specially favoured of Heaven.

The king's printing-office for proclamations, &c., used to be in
Printing-house Square, but was removed in 1770; and we must not forget
that where a Norman fortress once rose to oppress the weak, to guard the
spoils of robbers, and to protect the oppressor, the _Times_
printing-office now stands, to diffuse its ceaseless floods of
knowledge, to spread its resistless ægis over the poor and the
oppressed, and ever to use its vast power to extend liberty and crush
injustice, whatever shape the Proteus assumes, whether it sits upon a
throne or lurks in a swindler's office.

[Illustration: PRINTING HOUSE SQUARE AND THE "TIMES" OFFICE (_see page
209_).]

This great paper was started in the year 1785, by Mr. John Walter, under
the name of the _Daily Universal Register_. It was first called the
_Times_, January 1, 1788, when the following prospectus appeared:--

"The _Universal Register_ has been a name as injurious to the
logographic newspaper as Tristram was to Mr. Shandy's son; but old
Shandy forgot he might have rectified by confirmation the mistake of the
parson at baptism, and with the touch of a bishop changed Tristram into
Trismegistus. The _Universal Register_, from the day of its first
appearance to the day of its confirmation, had, like Tristram, suffered
from innumerable casualties, both laughable and serious, arising from
its name, which in its introduction was immediately curtailed of its
fair proportions by all who called for it, the word 'Universal' being
universally omitted, and the word 'Register' only retained. 'Boy, bring
me the _Register_.' The waiter answers, 'Sir, we have no library; but
you may see it in the "New Exchange" coffee-house.' 'Then I will see it
there,' answers the disappointed politician; and he goes to the 'New
Exchange' coffee-house, and calls for the _Register_, upon which the
waiter tells him he cannot have it, as he is not a subscriber, or
presents him with the _Court and City Register_, the _Old Annual
Register_, or the _New Annual Register_, or, if the house be within the
purlieus of Covent Garden or the hundreds of Drury, slips into the
politician's hand _Harris's Register of Ladies_.

"For these and other reasons the printer of the _Universal Register_ has
added to its original name that of the _Times_, which, being a
monosyllable, bids defiance to the corruptions and mutilations of the
language.

[Illustration: BLACKFRIARS OLD BRIDGE DURING ITS CONSTRUCTION, SHOWING
THE TEMPORARY FOOT BRIDGE, FROM A PRINT OF 1775 (_see page 207_).]

"The _Times!_ what a monstrous name! Granted--for the Times is a
many-headed monster, that speaks with a hundred tongues, and displays a
thousand characters; and in the course of its transitions in life,
assumes innumerable shapes and humours.

"The critical reader will observe, we personify our new name; but as we
give it no distinction of sex, and though it will be active in its
vocation, yet we apply to it the neuter gender.

"The _Times_, being formed of and possessing qualities of opposite and
heterogeneous natures, cannot be classed either in the animal or
vegetable genus, but, like the polypus, is doubtful; and in the
discussion, description, and illustration, will employ the pens of the
most celebrated _literati_.

"The heads of the _Times_, as has already been said, are many; these
will, however, not always appear at the same time, but casually, as
public or private affairs may call them forth.

"The principal or leading heads are--the literary, political,
commercial, philosophical, critical, theatrical, fashionable, humorous,
witty, &c., each of which is supplied with a competent share of
intellect for the pursuit of their several functions, an endowment which
is not in all cases to be found, even in the heads of the State, the
heads of the Church, the heads of the law, the heads of the navy, the
heads of the army, and, though last not least, the great heads of the
universities.

"The political head of the _Times_--like that of Janus, the Roman
deity--is double-faced. With one countenance it will smile continually
on the friends of Old England, and with the other will frown incessantly
on her enemies.

"The alteration we have made in our paper is not without precedents. The
_World_ has parted with half its _caput mortuum_ and a moiety of its
brains; the _Herald_ has cutoff one half of its head and has lost its
original humour; the _Post_, it is true, retains its whole head and its
old features; and as to the other public prints, they appear as having
neither heads nor tails.

"On the Parliamentary head, every communication that ability and
industry can produce may be expected. To this great national object the
_Times_ will be most sedulously attentive, most accurately correct, and
strictly impartial in its reports."

Both the _Times_ and its predecessor were printed "logographically," Mr.
Walter having obtained a patent for his peculiar system. The plan
consisted in abridging the compositors' labour by casting all the more
frequently recurring words in metal. It was, in fact, a system of
partial stereotyping. The English language, said the sanguine inventor,
contained above 90,000 words. This number Walter had reduced to about
5,000. The projector was assailed by the wits, who declared that his
orders to the typefounders ran,--"Send me a hundredweight, in separate
pounds, of _heat_, _cold_, _wet_, _dry_, _murder_, _fire_, _dreadful
robbery_, _atrocious outrage_, _fearful calamity_, and _alarming
explosion_." But nothing could daunt or stop Walter. One eccentricity of
the _Daily Register_ was that on red-letter days the title was printed
in red ink, and the character of the day stated under the date-line. For
instance, on Friday, August 11, 1786, there is a red heading, and
underneath the words--

                "Princess of Brunswick born.
    Holiday at the Bank, Excise offices, and the Exchequer."

The first number of the _Times_ is not so large as the _Morning Herald_
or _Morning Chronicle_ of the same date, but larger than the _London
Chronicle_, and of the same size as the _Public Advertiser_. (Knight
Hunt.)

The first Walter lived in rough times, and suffered from the political
storms that then prevailed. He was several times imprisoned for articles
against great people, and it has been asserted that he stood in the
pillory in 1790 for a libel against the Duke of York. This is not,
however, true; but it is a fact that he was sentenced to such a
punishment, and remained sixteen months in Newgate, till released at the
intercession of the Prince of Wales. The first Walter died in 1812. The
second Mr. Walter, who came to the helm in 1803, was the real founder of
the future greatness of the _Times_; and he, too, had his rubs. In 1804
he offended the Government by denouncing the foolish Catamaran
expedition. For this the Government meanly deprived his family of the
printing for the Customs, and also withdrew their advertisements. During
the war of 1805 the Government stopped all the foreign papers sent to
the _Times_. Walter, stopped by no obstacle, at once contrived other
means to secure early news, and had the triumph of announcing the
capitulation of Flushing forty-eight hours before the intelligence had
arrived through any other channel.

There were no reviews of books in the _Times_ till long after it was
started, but it paid great attention to the drama from its commencement.
There were no leading articles for several years, yet in the very first
year the _Times_ displays threefold as many advertisements as its
contemporaries. For many years Mr. Walter, with his usual sagacity and
energy, endeavoured to mature some plan for printing the _Times_ by
steam. As early as 1804 a compositor named Martyn had invented a machine
for the purpose of superseding the hand-press, which took hours
struggling over the three or four thousand copies of the _Times_. The
pressmen threatened destruction to the new machine, and it had to be
smuggled piecemeal into the premises, while Martyn sheltered himself
under various disguises to escape the vengeance of the workmen. On the
eve of success, however, Walter's father lost courage, stopped the
supplies, and the project was for the time abandoned. In 1814 Walter,
however, returned to the charge. Koenig and Barnes put their machinery
in premises adjoining the _Times_ office, to avoid the violence of the
pressmen. At one time the two inventors are said to have abandoned their
machinery in despair, but a clerical friend of Walter examined the
difficulty and removed it. The night came at last when the great
experiment was to be made. The unconscious pressmen were kept waiting in
the next office for news from the Continent. At six o'clock in the
morning Mr. Walter entered the press-room, with a wet paper in his hand,
and astonished the men by telling them that the _Times_ had just been
printed by steam. If they attempted violence, he said, there was a force
ready to suppress it; but if they were peaceable their wages should be
continued until employment was found for them. He could now print 1,100
sheets an hour. By-and-by Koenig's machine proved too complicated, and
Messrs. Applegarth and Cowper invented a cylindrical one, that printed
8,000 an hour. Then came Hoe's process, which is now said to print at
the rate of from 18,000 to 22,000 copies an hour (Grant). The various
improvements in steam-printing have altogether cost the _Times_,
according to general report, not less than £80,000.

About 1813 Dr. Stoddart, the brother-in-law of Hazlitt (afterwards Sir
John Stoddart, a judge in Malta), edited the _Times_ with ability, till
his almost insane hatred of Bonaparte, "the Corsican fiend," as he
called him, led to his secession in 1815 or 1816. Stoddart was the
"Doctor Slop" whom Tom Moore derided in his gay little Whig lampoons.
The next editor was Thomas Barnes, a better scholar and a far abler man.
He had been a contemporary of Lamb at Christ's Hospital, and a rival of
Blomfield, afterwards Bishop of London. While a student in the Temple he
wrote the _Times_ a series of political letters in the manner of
"Junius," and was at once placed as a reporter in the gallery of the
House. Under his editorship Walter secured some of his ablest
contributors, including that Captain Stirling, "The Thunderer," whom
Carlyle has sketched so happily. Stirling was an Irishman, who had
fought with the Royal troops at Vinegar Hill, then joined the line, and
afterwards turned gentleman farmer in the Isle of Bute. He began writing
for the _Times_ about 1815, and, it is said, eventually received £2,000
a year as a writer of dashing and effective leaders. Lord Brougham
also, it is said, wrote occasional articles. Tom Moore was even offered
£100 a month if he would contribute, and Southey declined an offer of
£2,000 a year for editing the _Times_. Macaulay in his day wrote many
brilliant squibs in the _Times_; amongst them one containing the line:

    "Ye diners out, from whom we guard our spoons,"

and another on the subject of Wat Banks's candidateship for Cambridge.
Barnes died in 1841. Horace Twiss, the biographer of Lord Eldon and
nephew of Mrs. Siddons, also helped the _Times_ forward by his admirable
Parliamentary summaries, the first the _Times_ had attempted. This able
man died suddenly in 1848, while speaking at a meeting of the Rock
Assurance Society at Radley's Hotel, Bridge Street.

One of the longest wars the _Times_ ever carried on was that against
Alderman Harmer. It was Harmer's turn, in due order of rotation, to
become Lord Mayor. A strong feeling had arisen against Harmer because,
as the avowed proprietor of the _Weekly Dispatch_, he inserted certain
letters of the late Mr. Williams ("Publicola"), which were said to have
had the effect of preventing Mr. Walter's return for Southwark (see page
59). The _Times_ upon this wrote twelve powerful leaders against Harmer,
which at once decided the question. This was a great assertion of power,
and raised the _Times_ in the estimation of all England. For these
twelve articles, originally intended for letters, the writer (says Mr.
Grant) received £200. But in 1841 the extraordinary social influence of
this giant paper was even still more shown. Mr. O'Reilly, their Paris
correspondent, obtained a clue to a vast scheme of fraud concocting in
Paris by a gang of fourteen accomplished swindlers, who had already
netted £10,700 of the million for which they had planned. At the risk of
assassination, O'Reilly exposed the scheme in the _Times_, dating the
_exposé_ Brussels, in order to throw the swindlers on the wrong scent.

At a public meeting of merchants, bankers, and others held in the
Egyptian Hall, Mansion House, October 1, 1841, the Lord Mayor (Thomas
Johnson) in the chair, it was unanimously resolved to thank the
proprietors of the _Times_ for the services they had rendered in having
exposed the most remarkable and extensively fraudulent conspiracy (the
famous "Bogle" swindle) ever brought to light in the mercantile world,
and to record in some substantial manner the sense of obligation
conferred by the proprietors of the _Times_ on the commercial world.

The proprietors of the _Times_ declining to receive the £2,625
subscribed by the London merchants to recompense them for doing their
duty, it was resolved, in 1842, to set apart the funds for the endowment
of two scholarships, one at Christ's Hospital, and one at the City of
London School. In both schools a commemorative tablet was put up, as
well as one at the Royal Exchange and the _Times_ printing-office.

At various periods the _Times_ has had to endure violent attacks in the
House of Commons, and many strenuous efforts to restrain its vast
powers. In 1819 John Payne Collier, one of their Parliamentary
reporters, and better known as one of the greatest of Shakesperian
critics, was committed into the custody of the Serjeant-at-Arms for a
report in which he had attacked Canning. The _Times_, however, had some
powerful friends in the House; and in 1821 we find Mr. Hume complaining
that the Government advertisements were systematically withheld from the
_Times_. In 1831 Sir R.H. Inglis complained that the _Times_ had been
guilty of a breach of privilege, in asserting that there were borough
nominees and lackeys in the House. Sir Charles Wetherell, that titled,
incomparable old Tory, joined in the attack, which Burdett chivalrously
cantered forward to repel. Sir Henry Hardinge wanted the paper
prosecuted, but Lord John Russell, Orator Hunt, and O'Connell, however,
moved the previous question, and the great debate on the Reform Bill
then proceeded. The same year the House of Lords flew at the great
paper. The Earl of Limerick had been called "an absentee, and a thing
with human pretensions." The Marquis of Londonderry joined in the
attack. The next day Mr. Lawson, printer of the _Times_, was examined
and worried by the House; and Lord Wynford moved that Mr. Lawson, as
printer of a scandalous libel, should be fined £100, and committed to
Newgate till the fine be paid. The next day Mr. Lawson handed in an
apology, but Lord Brougham generously rose and denied the power of the
House to imprison and fine without a trial by jury. The Tory lords spoke
angrily; the Earl of Limerick called the press a tyrant that ruled all
things, and crushed everything under its feet; and the Marquis of
Londonderry complained of the coarse and virulent libels against Queen
Adelaide, for her supposed opposition to Reform.

In 1833 O'Connell attributed dishonest motives to the London reporter
who had suppressed his speeches, and the reporters in the _Times_
expressed their resolution not to report any more of his speeches unless
he retracted. O'Connell then moved in the House that the printer of the
_Times_ be summoned to the bar for printing their resolution, but his
motion was rejected. In 1838 Mr. Lawson was fined £200 for accusing Sir
John Conroy, treasurer of the household of the Duchess of Kent, of
peculation. In 1840 an angry member brought a breach of privilege motion
against the _Times_, and advised every one who was attacked in that
paper to horsewhip the editor.

In January, 1829, the _Times_ came out with a double sheet, consisting
of eight pages, or forty-eight columns. In 1830 it paid £70,000
advertisement duty. In 1800 its sale had been below that of the _Morning
Chronicle_, _Post_, _Herald_, and _Advertiser_.

The _Times_, according to Mr. Grant, in one day of 1870, received no
less than £1,500 for advertisements. On June 22, 1862, it produced a
paper containing no less than twenty-four pages, or 144 columns. In 1854
the _Times_ had a circulation of 51,000 copies; in 1860, 60,000. For
special numbers its sale is enormous. The biography of Prince Albert
sold 90,000 copies; the marriage of the Prince of Wales, 110,000 copies.
The income of the _Times_ from advertisements alone has been calculated
at £260,000. A writer in a Philadelphia paper of 1867 estimates the
paper consumed weekly by the _Times_ at seventy tons; the ink at two
tons. There are employed in the office ten stereotypers, sixteen firemen
and engineers, ninety machine-men, six men who prepare the paper for
printing, and seven to transfer the papers to the news-agents. The new
Walter press prints 22,000 to 24,000 impressions an hour, or 12,000
perfect sheets printed on both sides. It prints from a roll of paper
three-quarters of a mile long, and cuts the sheets and piles them
without help. It is a self-feeder, and requires only a man and two boys
to guide its operations. A copy of the _Times_ has been known to contain
4,000 advertisements; and for every daily copy it is computed that the
compositors mass together not less than 2,500,000 separate types.

The number of persons engaged in daily working for the _Times_ is put at
nearly 350.

In the annals of this paper we must not forget the energy that, in 1834,
established a system of home expresses, that enabled them to give the
earliest intelligence before any other paper; and at an expense of £200
brought a report of Lord Durham's speech at Glasgow to London at the
then unprecedented rate of fifteen miles an hour; nor should we forget
their noble disinterestedness during the railway mania of 1845, when,
although they were receiving more than £3,000 a week for railway
advertisements, they warned the country unceasingly of the misery and
ruin that must inevitably follow. The _Times_ proprietors are known to
pay the highest sums for articles, and to be uniformly generous in
pensioning men who have spent their lives in its service.

The late Mr. Walter, even when M.P. for Berkshire and Nottingham, never
forgot Printing-house Square when the debate, however late, had closed.
One afternoon, says Mr. Grant, he came to the office and found the
compositors gone to dinner. Just at that moment a parcel, marked
"immediate and important," arrived. It was news of vast importance. He
at once slipped off his coat, and set up the news with his own hands; a
pressman was at his post, and by the time the men returned a second
edition was actually printed and published. But his foresight and energy
was most conspicuously shown in 1845, when the jealousy of the French
Government had thrown obstacles in the way of the _Times'_ couriers, who
brought their Indian despatches from Marseilles. What were seas and
deserts to Walter? He at once took counsel with Lieutenant Waghorn, who
had opened up the overland route to India, and proposed to try a new
route by Trieste. The result was that Waghorn reached London two days
before the regular mail--the usual mail aided by the French Government.
The _Morning Herald_ was at first forty-eight hours before the _Times_,
but after that the _Times_ got a fortnight ahead; and although the
Trieste route was abandoned, the _Times_, eventually, was left alone as
a troublesome and invincible adversary.

Apothecaries' Hall, the grave stone and brick building, in Water Lane,
Blackfriars, was erected in 1670 (Charles II.), as the dispensary and
hall of the Company of Apothecaries, incorporated by a charter of James
I., at the suit of Gideon Delaune, the king's own apothecary. Drugs in
the Middle Ages were sold by grocers and pepperers, or by the doctors
themselves, who, early in James's reign, formed one company with the
apothecaries; but the ill-assorted union lasted only eleven years, for
the apothecaries were then fast becoming doctors themselves.

Garth, in his "Dispensary," describes, in the Hogarthian manner, the
topographical position of Apothecaries' Hall:--

    "Nigh where Fleet Ditch descends in sable streams,
    To wash the sooty Naiads in the Thames,
    There stands a structure on a rising hill,
    Where tyros take their freedom out to kill."

Gradually the apothecaries, refusing to be merely "the doctors' tools,"
began to encroach more and more on the doctors' province, and to
prescribe for and even cure the poor. In 1687 (James II.) open war broke
out. First Dryden, then Pope, fought on the side of the doctors against
the humbler men, whom they were taught to consider as mere greedy
mechanics and empirics. Dryden first let fly his mighty shaft:--

    "The apothecary tribe is wholly blind;
    From files a random recipe they take,
    And many deaths from one prescription make.
    Garth, generous as his muse, prescribes and gives;
    The shopman sells, and by destruction lives."

Pope followed with a smaller but keener arrow:--

    "So modern 'pothecaries, taught the art
    By doctors' bills to play the doctor's part,
    Bold in the practice of mistaken rules,
    Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools."

The origin of the memorable affray between the College of Physicians and
the Company of Apothecaries is admirably told by Mr. Jeaffreson, in his
"Book of Doctors." The younger physicians, impatient at beholding the
increasing prosperity and influence of the apothecaries, and the older
ones indignant at seeing a class of men they had despised creeping into
their quarters, and craftily laying hold of a portion of their monopoly,
concocted a scheme to reinstate themselves in public favour. Without a
doubt, many of the physicians who countenanced this scheme gave it their
support from purely charitable motives; but it cannot be questioned
that, as a body, the dispensarians were only actuated in their
humanitarian exertions by a desire to lower the apothecaries and raise
themselves in the eyes of the world. In 1687 the physicians, at a
college meeting, voted "that all members of the college, whether
fellows, candidates, or licentiates, should give their advice gratis to
all their sick neighbouring poor, when desired, within the city of
London, or seven miles round." The poor folk carried their prescriptions
to the apothecaries, to learn that the trade charge for dispensing them
was beyond their means. The physicians asserted that the demands of the
drug-vendors were extortionate, and were not reduced to meet the
finances of the applicants, to the end that the undertakings of
benevolence might prove abortive. This was, of course, absurd. The
apothecaries knew their own interests better than to oppose a system
which at least rendered drug-consuming fashionable with the lower
orders. Perhaps they regarded the poor as their peculiar property as a
field of practice, and felt insulted at having the same humble people
for whom they had pompously prescribed, and put up boluses at twopence
apiece, now entering their shops with papers dictating what the twopenny
bolus was to be composed of. But the charge preferred against them was
groundless. Indeed, a numerous body of the apothecaries expressly
offered to sell medicines "to the poor within their respective parishes
at such rates as the committee of physicians should think reasonable."

[Illustration: THE COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS, WARWICK LANE (_see page
216_).]

But this would not suit the game of the physicians. "A proposal was
started by a committee of the college that the college should furnish
the medicines of the poor, and perfect alone that charity which the
apothecaries refused to concur in; and, after divers methods
ineffectually tried, and much time wasted in endeavouring to bring the
apothecaries to terms of reason in relation to the poor, an instrument
was subscribed by divers charitably-disposed members of the college, now
in numbers about fifty, wherein they obliged themselves to pay ten
pounds apiece towards the preparing and delivering medicines at their
intrinsic value."

Such was the version of the affair given by the college apologists. The
plan was acted upon, and a dispensary was eventually established (some
nine years after the vote of 1687) at the College of Physicians, Warwick
Lane, where medicines were vended to the poor at cost price. This
measure of the college was impolitic and unjustifiable. It was unjust to
that important division of the trade who were ready to vend the
medicines at rates to be paid by the college authorities, for it took
altogether out of their hands the small amount of profit which they, as
_dealers_, could have realised on those terms. It was also an eminently
unwise course. The College sank to the level of the Apothecaries' Hall,
becoming an emporium for the sale of medicines. It was all very well to
say that no profit was made on such sale, the censorious world would not
believe it. The apothecaries and their friends denied that such was the
fact, and vowed that the benevolent dispensarians were bent only on
underselling and ruining them.

[Illustration: OUTER COURT OF LA BELLE SAUVAGE IN 1828, FROM AN ORIGINAL
DRAWING IN MR. GARDNER'S COLLECTION (_see page 221_).]

Again, the movement introduced dissensions within the walls of the
college. Many of the first physicians, with the conservatism of success,
did not care to offend the apothecaries, who were continually calling
them in and paying them fees. They therefore joined in the cry against
the dispensary. The profession was split up into two parties--Dispensarians
and Anti-Dispensarians. The apothecaries combined, and agreed not to
recommend the Dispensarians. The Anti-Dispensarians repaid this ill
service by refusing to meet Dispensarians in consultation. Sir Thomas
Millington, the President of the College, Hans Sloane, John Woodward,
Sir Edmund King, and Sir Samuel Garth, were amongst the latter. Of
these the last named was the man who rendered the most efficient
service to his party. For a time Garth's great poem, "The Dispensary,"
covered the apothecaries and Anti-Dispensarians with ridicule. It
rapidly passed through numerous editions. To say that of all the books,
pamphlets, and broadsheets thrown out by the combatants on both sides,
it is by far the one of the greatest merit, would be scant justice,
when it might almost be said that it is the only one of them that can
now be read by a gentleman without a sense of annoyance and disgust.
There is no point of view from which the medical profession appears
in a more humiliating and contemptible light than that which the
literature of this memorable squabble presents to the student. Charges
of ignorance, dishonesty, and extortion were preferred on both sides.
And the Dispensarian physicians did not hesitate to taunt their brethren
of the opposite camp with playing corruptly into the hands of the
apothecaries--prescribing enormous and unnecessary quantities of
medicine, so that the drug-vendors might make heavy bills, and, as a
consequence, recommend in all directions such complacent superiors to be
called in. Garth's, unfair and violent though it is, nowhere offends
against decency. As a work of art it cannot be ranked high, and is now
deservedly forgotten, although it has many good lines and some
felicitous satire. Garth lived to see the apothecaries gradually
emancipate themselves from the ignominious regulations to which they
consented when their vocation was first separated from the grocery
trade. Four years after his death they obtained legal acknowledgment of
their right to dispense and sell medicines without the prescription of a
physician; and six years later the law again decided in their favour
with regard to the physicians' right of examining and condemning their
drugs. In 1721, Mr. Rose, an apothecary, on being prosecuted by the
college for prescribing as well as compounding medicines, carried the
matter into the House of Lords, and obtained a favourable decision; and
from 1727, in which year Mr. Goodwin, an apothecary, obtained in a court
of law a considerable sum for an illegal seizure of his wares (by Drs.
Arbuthnot, Bale, and Levit), the physicians may be said to have
discontinued to exercise their privileges of inspection.

In his elaborate poem Garth cruelly caricatures the apothecaries of his
day:--

    "Long has he been of that amphibious fry,
    Bold to prescribe, and busy to apply;
    His shop the gazing vulgar's eyes employs,
    With foreign trinkets and domestic toys.
    Here mummies lay, most reverently stale,
    And there the tortoise hung her coat of mail;
    Not far from some huge shark's devouring head
    The flying-fish their finny pinions spread.
    Aloft in rows large poppy-heads were strung,
    And near, a scaly alligator hung.
    In this place drugs in musty heaps decay'd,
    In that dried bladders and false teeth were laid.

    "An inner room receives the num'rous shoals
    Of such as pay to be reputed fools;
    Globes stand by globes, volumes on volumes lie,
    And planetary schemes amuse the eye.
    The sage in velvet chair here lolls at ease,
    To promise future health for present fees;
    Then, as from tripod, solemn shams reveals,
    And what the stars know nothing of foretells.
    Our manufactures now they merely sell,
    And their true value treacherously tell;
    Nay, they discover, too, their spite is such,
    That health, than crowns more valued, cost not much;
    Whilst we must steer our conduct by these rules,
    To cheat as tradesmen, or to starve as fools."

Before finally leaving Blackfriars, let us gather up a few reminiscences
of the King's and Queen's printers who here first worked their inky
presses.

Queen Anne, by patent in 1713, constituted Benjamin Tooke, of Fleet
Street, and John Barber (afterwards Alderman Barber), Queen's printers
for thirty years. This Barber, a high Tory and suspected Jacobite, was
Swift's printer and warm friend. A remarkable story is told of Barber's
dexterity in his profession. Being threatened with a prosecution by the
House of Lords, for an offensive paragraph in a pamphlet which he had
printed, and being warned of his danger by Lord Bolingbroke, he called
in all the copies from the publishers, cancelled the leaf which
contained the obnoxious passage, and returned them to the booksellers
with a new paragraph supplied by Lord Bolingbroke; so that when the
pamphlet was produced before the House, and the passage referred to, it
was found unexceptionable. He added greatly to his wealth by the South
Sea Scheme, which he had prudence enough to secure in time, and
purchased an estate at East Sheen with part of his gain. In principles
he was a Jacobite; and in his travels to Italy, whither he went for the
recovery of his health, he was introduced to the Pretender, which
exposed him to some danger on his return to England; for, immediately on
his arrival, he was taken into custody by a King's messenger, but was
released without punishment. After his success in the South Sea Scheme,
he was elected Alderman of Castle Baynard Ward, 1722; sheriff, 1730;
and, in 1732-3, Lord Mayor of London.

John Baskett subsequently purchased both shares of the patent, but his
printing-offices in Blackfriars (now Printing House Square) were soon
afterwards destroyed by fire. In 1739 George II. granted a fresh patent
to Baskett for sixty years, with the privilege of supplying Parliament
with stationery. Half this lease Baskett sold to Charles Eyre, who
eventually appointed William Strahan his printer. Strahan soon after
brought in Mr. Eyre, and in 1770 erected extensive premises in Printer
Street, New Street Square, between Gough Square and Fetter Lane, near
the present offices of Mr. Spottiswoode, one of whose family married Mr.
Strahan's daughter. Strahan died a year after his old friend, Dr.
Johnson, at his house in New Street, leaving £1,000 to the Stationers'
Company, which his son Andrew augmented with £2,000 more. This son died
in 1831, aged eighty-three.

William Strahan, the son of a Scotch Customhouse officer, had come up to
London a poor printers' boy, and worked his way to wealth and social
distinction. He was associated with Cadell in the purchase of
copyrights, on the death of Cadell's partner and former master, Andrew
Millar, who died _circa_ 1768. The names of Strahan and Cadell appeared
on the title-pages of the great works of Gibbon, Robertson, Adam Smith,
and Blackstone. In 1776 Hume wrote to Strahan, "There will be no books
of reputation now to be printed in London, but through your hands and
Mr. Cadell's." Gibbon's history was a vast success. The first edition of
1,000 went off in a few days. This produced £490, of which Gibbon
received £326 13s. 4d. The great history was finished in 1788, by the
publication of the fourth quarto volume. It appeared on the author's
fifty-first birthday, and the double festival was celebrated by a dinner
at Mr. Cadell's, when complimentary verses from that wretched poet,
Hayley, made the great man with the button-hole mouth blush or feign to
blush. That was a proud day for Gibbon, and a proud day for Messrs.
Cadell and Strahan.

The first Strahan, Johnson's friend, was M.P. for Malmesbury and Wootton
Bassett (1775-84), and his taking to a carriage was the subject of a
recorded conversation between Boswell and Johnson, who gloried in his
friend's success. It was Strahan who, with Johnston and Dodsley,
purchased, in 1759, for £100, the first edition of Johnson's "Rasselas,
Prince of Abyssinia," that sententious story, which Johnson wrote in a
week, to defray the expenses of his mother's funeral.

Boswell has recorded several conversations between Dr. Johnson and
Strahan. Strahan, at the doctor's return from the Hebrides, asked him,
with a firm tone of voice, what he thought of his country. "That it is a
very vile country, to be sure, sir," returned for answer Dr. Johnson.
"Well, sir," replied the other, somewhat mortified, "God made it."
"Certainly he did," answered Dr. Johnson again; "but we must always
remember that he made it for Scotchmen, and--comparisons are odious, Mr.
Strahan--but God made hell."

Boswell has also a pretty anecdote relating to one of the doctor's
visits to Strahan's printing-office, which shows the "Great Bear" in a
very amiable light, and the scene altogether is not unworthy of the
artist's pencil.

"Mr. Strahan," says Boswell, "had taken a poor boy from the country as
an apprentice, upon Johnson's recommendation. Johnson having inquired
after him, said, 'Mr. Strahan, let me have five guineas on account, and
I'll give this boy one. Nay, if a man recommends a boy, and does nothing
for him, it is a sad work. Call him down.' I followed him into the
courtyard, behind Mr. Strahan's house, and there I had a proof of what I
heard him profess--that he talked alike to all. 'Some people will tell
you that they let themselves down to the capacity of their hearers. I
never do that. I speak uniformly in as intelligible a manner as I can.'
'Well, my boy, how do you go on?' 'Pretty well, sir; but they are afraid
I'm not strong enough for some parts of the business.' Johnson: 'Why, I
shall be sorry for it; for when you consider with how little mental
power and corporal labour a printer can get a guinea a week, it is a
very desirable occupation for you. Do you hear? Take all the pains you
can; and if this does not do, we must think of some other way of life
for you. There's a guinea.' Here was one of the many instances of his
active benevolence. At the same time the slow and sonorous solemnity
with which, while he bent himself down, he addressed a little thick,
short-legged boy, contrasted with the boy's awkwardness and awe, could
not but excite some ludicrous emotions."

In Ireland Yard, on the west side of St. Andrew's Hill, and in the
parish of St. Anne, Blackfriars, stood the house which Shakespeare
bought, in the year 1612, and which he bequeathed by will to his
daughter, Susanna Hall. In the deed of conveyance to the poet, the house
is described as "abutting upon a street leading down to Puddle Wharf,
and now or late in the tenure or occupation of one William Ireland"
(hence, we suppose, Ireland Yard), "part of which said tenement is
erected over a great gate leading to a capital messuage, which some time
was in the tenure of William Blackwell, Esq., deceased, and since that
in the tenure or occupation of the Right Honourable Henry, now Earl of
Northumberland." The original deed of conveyance is shown in the City of
London Library, at Guildhall, under a handsome glass case.

The street leading down to Puddle Wharf is called St. Andrew's Hill,
from the Church of St. Andrew's-in-the-Wardrobe. The proper name (says
Cunningham) is Puddle Dock Hill.




CHAPTER XIX.

LUDGATE HILL.

    An Ugly Bridge and "Ye Belle Savage"--A Radical Publisher--The
    Principal Gate of London--From a Fortress to a Prison--"Remember the
    Poor Prisoners"--Relics of Early Times--St. Martin's, Ludgate--The
    London Coffee House--Celebrated Goldsmiths on Ludgate Hill--Mrs.
    Rundell's Cookery Book--Stationers' Hall--Old Burgavenny House and
    its History--Early Days of the Stationers' Company--The
    Almanacks--An Awkward Misprint--The Hall and its Decorations--The
    St. Cecilia Festivals--Dryden's "St. Cecilia's Day" and "Alexander's
    Feast"--Handel's Setting of them--A Modest Poet--Funeral Feasts and
    Political Banquets--The Company's Plate--Their Charities--The
    Pictures at Stationers' Hall--The Company's Arms--Famous Masters.


Of all the eyesores of modern London, surely the most hideous is the
Ludgate Hill Viaduct--that enormous flat iron that lies across the chest
of Ludgate Hill like a bar of metal on the breast of a wretch in a
torture-chamber. Let us hope that a time will come when all designs for
City improvements will be compelled to endure the scrutiny and win the
approval of a committee of taste. The useful and the beautiful must not
for ever be divorced. The railway bridge lies flat across the street,
only eighteen feet above the roadway, and is a miracle of clumsy and
stubborn ugliness, entirely spoiling the approach to one of the finest
buildings in London. The five girders of wrought iron cross the street,
here only forty-two feet wide, and the span is sixty feet, in order to
allow of future enlargement of the street. Absurd lattice-work,
decorative brackets, bronze armorial medallions, and gas lanterns and
standards, form a combination that only the unsettled and imitative art
of the ruthless nineteenth century could have put together. Think of
what the Egyptians in the times of the Pharaohs did with granite! and
observe what we Englishmen of the present day do with iron. Observe this
vulgar daubing of brown paint and barbaric gilding, and think of what
the Moors did with colour in the courts of the Alhambra! A viaduct was
necessary, we allow, but such a viaduct even the architect of the
National Gallery would have shuddered at. The difficulties, we however
allow, were great. The London, Chatham, and Dover, eager for dividends,
was bent on wedding the Metropolitan Railway near Smithfield; but how
could the hands of the affianced couple be joined? If there was no
viaduct, there must be a tunnel. Now, the bank of the river being a very
short distance from Smithfield, a very steep and dangerous gradient
would have been required to effect the junction. Moreover, had the line
been carried under Ludgate Hill, there must have been a slight detour to
ease the ascent, the cost of which detour would have been enormous. The
tunnel proposed would have involved the destruction of a few
trifles--such, for instance, as Apothecaries' Hall, the churchyard
adjoining, the _Times_ printing office--besides doing injury to the
foundations of St. Martin's Church, the Old Bailey Sessions House, and
Newgate. Moreover, no station would have been possible between the
Thames and Smithfield. The puzzled inhabitants, therefore, ended in
despair by giving evidence in favour of the viaduct. The stolid
hammermen went to work, and the iron nightmare was set up in all its
Babylonian hideousness.

The enormous sum of upwards of £10,000 was awarded as the Metropolitan
Board's quota for removing the hoarding, for widening the pavement a few
feet under the railway bridge over Ludgate Hill, and for rounding off
the corner.

An incredible quantity of ink has been shed about the origin of the sign
of the "Belle Sauvage" inn, and even now the controversy is scarcely
settled. Mr. Riley records that in 1380 (Richard II.) a certain William
Lawton was sentenced to an uncomfortable hour in the pillory for trying
to obtain, by means of a forged letter, twenty shillings from William
Savage, Fleet Street, in the parish of St. Bridget. This at least shows
that Savage was the name of a citizen of the locality. In 1453 (Henry
VI.) a clause roll quoted by Mr. Lysons notices the bequest of John
French to his mother, Joan French, widow, of "Savage's Inn," otherwise
called the "Bell in the Hoop," in the parish of St. Bride's. Stow
(Elizabeth) mentions a Mrs. Savage as having given the inn to the
Cutlers' Company, which, however, the books of that company disprove.
This, anyhow, is certain, that in 1568 (Elizabeth) a John Craythorne
gave the reversion of the "Belle Sauvage" to the Cutlers' Company, on
condition that two exhibitions to the university and certain sums to
poor prisoners be paid by them out of the estate. A portrait of
Craythorne's wife still hangs in Cutler's Hall. In 1584 the inn was
described as "Ye Belle Savage." In 1648 and 1672 the landlords' tokens
exhibited (says Mr. Noble) an Indian woman holding a bow and arrow. The
sign in Queen Anne's time was a savage man standing by a bell. The
question, therefore, is, whether the name of the inn was originally
derived from Isabel (Bel) Savage, the landlady, or the sign of the bell
and savage; or whether it was, as the _Spectator_ cleverly suggests,
from La Belle Sauvage, "the beautiful savage," which is a derivation
very generally received. There is an old French romance formerly popular
in this country, the heroine of which was known as La Belle Sauvage; and
it is possible that Mrs. Isabel Savage, the ancient landlady, might have
become in time confused with the heroine of the old romance.

In the ante-Shakespearean days our early actors performed in inn-yards,
the courtyard representing the pit, the upper and lower galleries the
boxes and gallery of the modern theatre. The "Belle Sauvage," says Mr.
Collier, was a favourite place for these performances. There was also a
school of defence, or fencing school, here in Queen Elizabeth's time; so
many a hot Tybalt and fiery Mercutio have here crossed rapiers, and many
a silk button has been reft from gay doublets by the quick passadoes of
the young swordsmen who ruffled it in the Strand. This quondam inn was
also the place where Banks, the showman (so often mentioned by Nash and
others in Elizabethan pamphlets and lampoons), exhibited his wonderful
trained horse "Marocco," the animal which once ascended the tower of St.
Paul's, and who on another occasion, at his master's bidding, delighted
the mob by selecting Tarleton, the low comedian, as the greatest fool
present. Banks eventually took his horse, which was shod with silver, to
Rome, and the priests, frightened at the circus tricks, burnt both
"Marocco" and his master for witchcraft. At No. 11 in this yard--now
such a little world of industry, although it no longer rings with the
stage-coach horn--lived in his obscurer days that great carver in wood,
Grinling Gibbons, whose genius Evelyn first brought under the notice of
Charles II. Horace Walpole says that, as a sort of advertisement,
Gibbons carved an exquisite pot of flowers in wood, which stood on his
window-sill, and shook surprisingly with the motion of the coaches that
passed beneath. No man (says Walpole) before Gibbons had "ever given to
wood the loose and airy lightness of flowers, or linked together the
various productions of the elements with a free disorder natural to each
species." His _chef d'oeuvre_ of skill was an imitation point-lace
cravat, which he carved at Chatsworth for the Duke of Devonshire.
Petworth is also garlanded with Gibbons' fruit, flowers, and dead game.

Belle Sauvage Yard no longer re-echoes with the guard's rejoicing horn,
and the old coaching interest is now only represented by a railway
parcel office huddled up in the left-hand corner. The old galleries are
gone over which pretty chambermaids leant and waved their dusters in
farewell greeting to the handsome guards or smart coachmen. Industries
of a very different character have now turned the old yard into a busy
hive. It is not for us to dilate upon the firm whose operations are
carried on here, but it may interest the reader to know that the very
sheet he is now perusing was printed on the site of the old coaching
inn, and published very near the old tap-room of La Belle Sauvage; for
where coach-wheels once rolled and clattered, only printing-press wheels
now revolve.

The old inn-yard is now very much altered in plan from what it was in
former days. Originally it consisted of two courts. Into the outer one
of these the present archway from Ludgate Hill led. It at one period
certainly had contained private houses, in one of which Grinling Gibbons
had lived. The inn stood round an inner court, entered by a second
archway which stood about half-way up the present yard. Over the archway
facing the outer court was the sign of "The Bell," and all round the
interior ran those covered galleries, so prominent a feature in old
London inns.

Near the "Belle Sauvage" resided that proud cobbler mentioned by Steele,
who has recorded his eccentricities. This man had bought a wooden figure
of a beau of the period, who stood before him in a bending position, and
humbly presented him with his awl, wax, bristles, or whatever else his
tyrannical master chose to place in his hand.

To No. 45 (south side), Ludgate Hill, that strange, independent man,
Lamb's friend, William Hone, the Radical publisher, came from Ship
Court, Old Bailey, where he had published those blasphemous "Parodies,"
for which he was three times tried and acquitted, to the vexation of
Lord Ellenborough. Here, having sown his seditious wild oats and broken
free from the lawyers, Hone continued his occasional clever political
satires, sometimes suggested by bitter Hazlitt and illustrated by George
Cruikshank's inexhaustible fancy. Here Hone devised those delightful
miscellanies, the "Every-Day Book" and "Year Book," into which Lamb and
many young poets threw all their humour and power. The books were
commercially not very successful, but they have delighted generations,
and will delight generations to come. Mr. Timbs, who saw much of Hone,
describes him as sitting in a second-floor back room, surrounded by rare
books and black-letter volumes. His conversion from materialism to
Christianity was apparently sudden, though the process of change had no
doubt long been maturing. The story of his conversion is thus related by
Mr. Timbs:--"Hone was once called to a house, in a certain street in a
part of the world of London entirely unknown to him. As he walked he
reflected on the entirely unknown region. He arrived at the house, and
was shown into a room to wait. All at once, on looking round, to his
astonishment and almost horror, every object he saw seemed familiar to
him. He said to himself, 'What is this? I was never here before, and yet
I have seen all this before, and as a proof I have I now remember a very
peculiar knot behind the shutters.' He opened the shutters, and found
the very knot. 'Now, then,' he thought, 'here is something I cannot
explain on any principle--there must be some power beyond matter.'" The
argument that so happily convinced Hone does not seem to us in itself as
very convincing. Hone's recognition of the room was but some confused
memory of an analogous place. Knots are not uncommon in deal shutters,
and the discovery of the knot in the particular place was a mere
coincidence. But, considering that Hone was a self-educated man, and,
like many sceptics, was incredulous only with regard to Christianity,
and even believed he once saw an apparition in Ludgate Hill, who can be
surprised?

[Illustration: THE INNER COURT OF THE BELLE SAUVAGE. FROM AN ORIGINAL
DRAWING IN MR. CRACE'S COLLECTION.]

[Illustration: THE MUTILATED STATUES FROM LUD GATE, 1798 (_see page
226_).]

At No. 7, opposite Hone's, "The Percy Anecdotes," that well-chosen and
fortunate selection of every sort of story, were first published.

Lud Gate, which Stow in his "Survey" designates the sixth and principal
gate of London, taken down in 1760 at the solicitation of the chief
inhabitants of Farringdon Without and Farringdon Within, stood between
the present London Tavern and the church of St. Martin. According to old
Geoffry of Monmouth's fabulous history of England, this entrance to
London was first built by King Lud, a British monarch, sixty-six years
before Christ. Our later antiquaries, ruthless as to legends, however
romantic, consider its original name to have been the Flood or Fleet
Gate, which is far more feasible. Lud Gate was either repaired or
rebuilt in the year 1215, when the armed barons, under Robert
Fitzwalter, repulsed at Northampton, were welcomed to London, and there
awaited King John's concession of the Magna Charta. While in the
metropolis these greedy and fanatical barons spent their time in
spoiling the houses of the rich Jews, and used the stones in
strengthening the walls and gates of the City. That this tradition is
true was proved in 1586, when (as Stow says) all the gate was rebuilt.
Embedded among other stones was found one on which was engraved, in
Hebrew characters, the words "This is the ward of Rabbi Moses, the son
of the honourable Rabbi Isaac." This stone was probably the sign of one
of the Jewish houses pulled down by Fitzwalter, Magnaville, and the Earl
of Gloucester, perhaps for the express purpose of obtaining ready
materials for strengthening the bulwarks of London. In 1260 (Henry III.)
Lud Gate was repaired, and beautified with images of King Lud and other
monarchs. In the reign of Edward VI. the citizens, zealous against
everything that approached idolatry, smote off the heads of Lud and his
family; but Queen Mary, partial to all images, afterwards replaced the
heads on the old bodies.

In 1554 King Lud and his sons looked down on a street seething with
angry men, and saw blood shed upon the hill leading to St. Paul's. Sir
Thomas Wyat, a Kentish gentleman, urged by the Earl of Devon, and led on
by the almost universal dread of Queen Mary's marriage with the bigoted
Philip of Spain, assembled 1,500 armed men at Rochester Castle, and,
aided by 500 Londoners, who deserted to him, raised the standard of
insurrection. Five vessels of the fleet joined him, and with seven
pieces of artillery, captured from the Duke of Norfolk, he marched upon
London. Soon followed by 15,000 men, eager to save the Princess
Elizabeth, Wyat marched through Dartford to Greenwich and Deptford. With
a force now dwindled to 7,000 men, Wyat attacked London Bridge. Driven
from there by the Tower guns, he marched to Kingston, crossed the river,
resolving to beat back the Queen's troops at Brentford, and attempt to
enter the City by Lud Gate, which some of the Protestant citizens had
offered to throw open to him. The Queen, with true Tudor courage,
refused to leave St. James's, and in a council of war it was agreed to
throw a strong force into Lud Gate, and, permitting Wyat's advance up
Fleet Street, to enclose him like a wild boar in the toils. At nine on a
February morning, 1554, Wyat reached Hyde Park Corner, was cannonaded at
Hay Hill, and further on towards Charing Cross he and some three or four
hundred men were cut off from his other followers. Rushing on with a
standard through Piccadilly, Wyat reached Lud Gate. There (says Stow) he
knocked, calling out, "I am Wyat; the Queen has granted all my
petitions."

But the only reply from the strongly-guarded gate was the rough, stern
voice of Lord William Howard--"Avaunt, traitor; thou shalt have no
entrance here."

No friends appearing, and the Royal troops closing upon him, Wyat said,
"I have kept my promise," and retiring, silent and desponding, sat down
to rest on a stall opposite the gate of the "Belle Sauvage." Roused by
the shouts and sounds of fighting, he fought his way back, with forty of
his staunchest followers, to Temple Bar, which was held by a squadron of
horse. There the Norroy King-of-Arms exhorted him to spare blood and
yield himself a prisoner. Wyat then surrendered himself to Sir Maurice
Berkeley, who just then happened to ride by, ignorant of the affray,
and, seated behind Sir Maurice, he was taken to St. James's. On April
11th Wyat perished on the scaffold at Tower Hill. This rash rebellion
also led to the immediate execution of the innocent and unhappy Lady
Jane Grey and her husband, Guilford Dudley, endangered the life of the
Princess Elizabeth, and hastened the Queen's marriage with Philip, which
took place at Winchester, July 25th of the same year.

In the reign of Elizabeth (1586), the old gate, being "sore decayed,"
was pulled down, and was newly built, with images of Lud and others on
the east side, and a "picture of the lion-hearted queen" on the west,
the cost of the whole being over £1,500.

Lud Gate became a free debtors' prison the first year of Richard II.,
and was enlarged in 1463 (Edward IV.) by that "well-disposed, blessed,
and devout woman," the widow of Stephen Forster, fishmonger, Mayor of
London in 1454. Of this benefactress of Lud Gate, Maitland (1739) has
the following legend. Forster himself, according to this story, in his
younger days had once been a pining prisoner in Lud Gate. Being one day
at the begging grate, a rich widow asked how much would release him. He
said, "Twenty pounds." She paid it, and took him into her service,
where, by his indefatigable application to business, he so gained her
affections that she married him, and he earned so great riches by
commerce that she concurred with him to make his former prison more
commodious, and to endow a new chapel, where, on a wall, there was this
inscription on a brass plate:--

    "Devout souls that pass this way,
    For Stephen Forster, late Lord Mayor, heartily pray,
    And Dame Agnes, his spouse, to God consecrate,
    That of pity this house made for Londoners in Lud Gate;
    So that for lodging and water prisoners here nought pay,
    As their keepers shall all answer at dreadful doomsday."

This legend of Lud Gate is also the foundation of Rowley's comedy of _A
Woman Never Vext; or, The Widow of Cornhill_, which has in our times
been revived, with alterations, by Mr. Planché. In the first scene of
the fifth act occurs the following passage:--

    "_Mrs. S. Forster._ But why remove the prisoners from Ludgate?

    "_Stephen Forster._ To take the prison down and build it new,
    With leads to walk on, chambers large and fair;
    For when myself lay there the noxious air
    Choked up my spirits. None but captives, wife,
    Can know what captives feel."

Stow, however, seems to deny this story, and suggests that it arose from
some mistake. The stone with the inscription was preserved by Stow when
the gate was rebuilt, together with Forster's arms, "three broad
arrow-heads," and was fixed over the entry to the prison. The
enlargement of the prison on the south-east side formed a quadrant
thirty-eight feet long and twenty-nine feet wide. There were prisoners'
rooms above it, with a leaden roof, where the debtors could walk, and
both lodging and water were free of charge.

Strype says the prisoners in Ludgate were chiefly merchants and
tradesmen, who had been driven to want by losses at sea. When King
Philip came to London after his marriage with Mary in 1554 thirty
prisoners in Lud Gate, who were in gaol for £10,000, compounded for at
£2,000, presented the king a well-penned Latin speech, written by "the
curious pen" of Roger Ascham, praying the king to redress their
miseries, and by his royal generosity to free them, inasmuch as the
place was not _sceleratorum carcer, sed miserorum custodia_ (not a
dungeon for the wicked, but a place of detention for the wretched).

Marmaduke Johnson, a poor debtor in Lud Gate the year before the
Restoration, wrote a curious account of the prison, which Strype
printed. The officials in "King Lud's House" seem to have been--1, a
reader of Divine service; 2, the upper steward, called the master of the
box; 3, the under steward; 4, seven assistants--that is, one for every
day of the week; 5, a running assistant; 6, two churchwardens; 7, a
scavenger; 8, a chamberlain; 9, a runner; 10, the cryers at the grate,
six in number, who by turns kept up the ceaseless cry to the passers-by
of "Remember the poor prisoners!" The officers' charge (says Johnson)
for taking a debtor to Ludgate was sometimes three, four, or five
shillings, though their just due is but twopence; for entering name and
address, fourteen pence to the turnkey; a lodging is one penny,
twopence, or threepence; for sheets to the chamberlain, eighteenpence;
to chamber-fellows a garnish of four shillings (for non-payment of this
his clothes were taken away, or "mobbed," as it was called, till he did
pay); and the next day a due of sixteen pence to one of the stewards,
which was called table money. At his discharge the several fees were as
follows:--Two shillings the master's fee; fourteen pence for the turning
of the key; twelve pence for every action that lay against him. For
leave to go out with a keeper upon security (as formerly in the Queen's
Bench) the prisoners paid for the first time four shillings and
tenpence, and two shillings every day afterwards. The exorbitant prison
fees of three shillings a day swallowed up all the prison bequests, and
the miserable debtors had to rely on better means from the Lord Mayor's
table, the light bread seized by the clerk of the markets, and presents
of under-sized and illegal fish from the water-bailiffs.

A curious handbill of the year 1664, preserved by Mr. Collier, and
containing the petition of 180 poor Ludgate prisoners, seems to have
been a circular taken round by the alms-seekers of the prison, who
perambulated the streets with baskets at their backs and a sealed
money-box in their hands. "We most humbly beseech you," says the
handbill, "even for God's cause, to relieve us with your charitable
benevolence, and to put into this bearer's box--the same being sealed
with the house seal, as it is figured upon this petition."

A quarto tract, entitled "Prison Thoughts," by Thomas Browning, citizen
and cook of London, a prisoner in Lud Gate, "where poor citizens are
confined and starve amidst copies of their freedom," was published in
that prison, by the author, in 1682. It is written both in prose and
verse, and probably gave origin to Dr. Dodd's more elaborate work on the
same subject. The following is a specimen of the poetry:--

    "ON PATIENCE.

    "Patience is the poor man's walk,
    Patience is the dumb man's talk,
    Patience is the lame man's thighs,
    Patience is the blind man's eyes,
    Patience is the poor man's ditty,
    Patience is the exil'd man's city,
    Patience is the sick man's bed of down,
    Patience is the wise man's crown,
    Patience is the live man's story,
    Patience is the dead man's glory.

    "When your troubles do controul,
    In Patience then possess your soul."

In the _Spectator_ (Queen Anne) a writer says: "Passing under Lud Gate
the other day, I heard a voice bawling for charity which I thought I had
heard somewhere before. Coming near to the grate, the prisoner called me
by my name, and desired I would throw something into the box."

The prison at Lud Gate was gutted by the Great Fire of 1666, and in
1760, the year of George III.'s accession, the gate, impeding traffic,
was taken down, and the materials sold for £148. The prisoners were
removed to the London Workhouse, in Bishopsgate Street, a part whereof
was fitted up for that purpose, and Lud Gate prisoners continued to be
received there until the year 1794, when they were removed to the prison
of Lud Gate, adjoining the compter in Giltspur Street.

[Illustration: OLD LUD GATE, FROM A PRINT PUBLISHED ABOUT 1750. (_see
page 223_).]

When old Lud Gate was pulled down, Lud and his worthy sons were given by
the City to Sir Francis Gosling, who intended to set them up at the east
end of St. Dunstan's. Nevertheless the royal effigies, of very rude
workmanship, were sent to end their days in the parish bone-house; a
better fate, however, awaited them, for the late Marquis of Hertford
eventually purchased them, and they are now, with St. Dunstan's clock,
in Hertford Villa, Regent's Park. The statue of Elizabeth was placed in
a niche in the outer wall of old St. Dunstan's Church, and it still
adorns the new church, as we have before mentioned in our chapter on
Fleet Street.

In 1792 an interesting discovery was made in St. Martin's Court, Ludgate
Hill. Workmen came upon the remains of a small barbican, or watch-tower,
part of the old City wall of 1276; and in a line with the Old Bailey
they found another outwork. A fragment of it in a court is now built up.
A fire which took place on the premises of Messrs. Kay, Ludgate Hill,
May 1, 1792, disclosed these interesting ruins, probably left by the
builders after the fire of 1666 as a foundation for new buildings. The
tower projected four feet from the wall into the City ditch, and
measured twenty-two feet from top to bottom. The stones were of
different sizes, the largest and the corner rudely squared. They had
been bound together with cement of hot lime, so that wedges had to be
used to split the blocks asunder. Small square holes in the sides of the
tower seemed to have been used either to receive floor timbers, or as
peep-holes for the sentries. The adjacent part of the City wall was
about eight feet thick, and of rude workmanship, consisting of
irregular-sized stones, chalk, and flint. The only bricks seen in this
part of the wall were on the south side, bounding Stone-cutters' Alley.
On the east half of Chatham Place, Blackfriars Bridge, stood the tower
built by order of Edward I., at the end of a continuation of the City
wall, running from Lud Gate behind the houses in Fleet Ditch to the
Thames. A rare plan of London, by Hollar (says Mr. J.T. Smith), marks
this tower. Roman monuments have been so frequently dug up near St.
Martin's Church, that there is no doubt that a Roman extra-mural
cemetery once existed here; in the same locality, in 1800, a sepulchral
monument was dug up, dedicated to Claudina Mertina, by her husband, a
Roman soldier. A fragment of a statue of Hercules and a female head were
also found, and were preserved at the "London" Coffee House.

Ludgate Hill and Street is probably the greatest thoroughfare in London.
Through Ludgate Hill and Street there have passed in twelve hours 8,752
vehicles, 13,025 horses, and 105,352 persons.

St. Martin's, Ludgate, though one of Wren's churches, is not a romantic
building; yet it has its legends. Robert of Gloucester, a rhyming
chronicler, describes it as built by Cadwallo, a British prince, in the
seventh century:--

    "A chirch of Sent Martyn livying he let rere,
    In whyche yet man should Goddy's seruys do,
    And singe for his soule, and al Christine also."

The church seems to have been rebuilt in 1437 (Henry VI.). From the
parish books, which commence in 1410, we find the old church to have had
several chapels, and to have been well furnished with plate, paintings,
and vestments, and to have had two projecting porches on the south side,
next Ludgate Hill. The right of presentation to St. Martin's belonged to
the Abbot of Westminster, but Queen Mary granted it to the Bishop of
London. The following curious epitaph in St. Martin's, found also
elsewhere, has been beautifully paraphrased by the Quaker poet, Bernard
Barton:--

    Earth goes to    }          {  As mold to mold,
    Earth treads on  }  Earth,  {  Glittering in gold,
    Earth as to      }          {  Return nere should,
    Earth shall to   }          {  Goe ere he would.

    Earth upon       }          {  Consider may,
    Earth goes to    }  Earth,  {  Naked away,
    Earth though on  }          {  Be stout and gay,
    Earth shall from }          {  Passe poore away.

Strype says of St. Martin's--"It is very comely, and ascended up by
stone steps, well finished within; and hath a most curious spire
steeple, of excellent workmanship, pleasant to behold." The new church
stands farther back than the old. The little black spire that adorns the
tower rises from a small bulb of a cupola, round which runs a light
gallery. Between the street and the body of the church Wren, always
ingenious, contrived an ambulatory the whole depth of the tower, to
deaden the sound of passing traffic. The church is a cube, the length 57
feet, the breadth 66 feet; the spire, 168 feet high, is dwarfed by St.
Paul's. The church cost in erection £5,378 18s. 8d.

The composite pillars, organ balcony, and oaken altar-piece are
tasteless and pagan. The font was the gift of Thomas Morley, in 1673,
and is encircled by a favourite old Greek palindrome, that is, a puzzle
sentence that reads equally well backwards or forwards--

    "Tripson anomeema me monan opsin."
    (Cleanse thy sins, not merely thy outward self.)

This inscription, according to Mr. G. Godwin ("Churches of London"), is
also found on the font in the basilica of St. Sophia, Constantinople. In
the vestry-room, approached by a flight of stairs at the north-east
angle of the church, there is a carved seat (date 1690) and several
chests, covered with curious indented ornaments.

On this church, and other satellites of St. Paul's, a poet has written--

    "So, like a bishop upon dainties fed,
    St. Paul's lifts up his sacerdotal head;
    While his lean curates, slim and lank to view,
    Around him point their steeples to the blue."

Coleridge used to compare a Mr. H----, who was always putting himself
forward to interpret Fox's sentiments, to the steeple of St. Martin's,
which is constantly getting in the way when you wish to see the dome of
St. Paul's.

One great man, at least, has been connected with this church, where the
Knights Templars were put to trial, and that was good old Purchas, the
editor and enlarger of "Hakluyt's Voyages." He was rector of this
parish. Hakluyt was a prebendary of Westminster, who, with a passion for
geographical research, though he himself never ventured farther than
Paris, had devoted his life, encouraged by Drake and Raleigh, in
collecting from old libraries and the lips of venturous merchants and
sea-captains travels in various countries. The manuscript remains were
bought by Purchas, who, with a veneration worthy of that heroic and
chivalrous age, wove them into his "Pilgrims" (five vols., folio), which
are a treasury of travel, exploit, and curious adventures. It has been
said that Purchas ruined himself by this publication, and that he died
in prison. This is not, however, true. He seems to have impoverished
himself chiefly by taking upon himself the care and cost of his brother
and brother-in-law's children. He appears to have been a single-minded
man, with a thorough devotion to geographic study. Charles I. promised
him a deanery, but Purchas did not live to enjoy it.

There is an architectural tradition that Wren purposely designed the
spire of St. Martin's, Ludgate, small and slender, to give a greater
dignity to the dome of St. Paul's.

[Illustration: RUINS OF THE BARBICAN ON LUDGATE HILL (_see page 226_).]

The London Coffee House, 24 to 26, Ludgate Hill, a place of celebrity in
its day, was first opened in May, 1731. The proprietor, James Ashley, in
his advertisement announcing the opening, professes cheap prices,
especially for punch. The usual price of a quart of arrack was then
eight shillings, and six shillings for a quart of rum made into punch.
This new punch house, Dorchester beer, and Welsh ale warehouse, on the
contrary, professed to charge six shillings for a quart of arrack made
into punch; while a quart of rum or brandy made into punch was to be
four shillings, and half a quartern fourpence halfpenny, and gentlemen
were to have punch as quickly made as a gill of wine could be drawn.
After Roney and Ellis, the house, according to Mr. Timbs, was taken by
Messrs. Leech and Dallimore. Mr. Leech was the father of one of the most
admirable caricaturists of modern times. Then came Mr. Lovegrove, from
the "Horn," Doctors' Commons. In 1856 Mr. Robert Clarke took possession,
and was the last tenant, the house being closed in 1867, and purchased
by the Corporation for £38,000. Several lodges of Freemasons and sundry
clubs were wont to assemble here periodically--among them "The Sons of
Industry," to which many of the influential tradesmen of the wards of
Farringdon have been long attached. Here, too, in the large hall, the
juries from the Central Criminal Court were lodged during the night when
important cases lasted more than one day. During the Exeter Hall May
meetings the London Coffee House was frequently resorted to as a
favourite place of meeting. It was also noted for its publishers' sales
of stocks and copyrights. It was within the rules of the Fleet Prison.
At the bar of the London Coffee House was sold Rowley's British Cephalic
Snuff. A singular incident occurred here many years since. Mr. Brayley,
the topographer, was present at a party, when Mr. Broadhurst, the famous
tenor, by singing a high note caused a wine-glass on the table to break,
the bowl being separated from the stem.

At No. 32 (north side) for many years Messrs. Rundell and Bridge, the
celebrated goldsmiths and diamond merchants, carried on their business.
Here Flaxman's _chef d'oeuvre_, the Shield of Achilles, in silver gilt,
was executed; also the crown worn by that august monarch, George IV. at
his coronation, for the loan of the jewels of which £7,000 was charged,
and among the elaborate luxuries a gigantic silver wine-cooler (now at
Windsor), that took two years in chasing. Two men could be seated inside
that great cup, and on grand occasions it has been filled with wine and
served round to the guests. Two golden salmon, leaning against each
other, was the sign of this old shop, now removed. Mrs. Rundell met a
great want of her day by writing her well-known book, "The Art of
Cookery," published in 1806, and which has gone through countless
editions. Up to 1833 she had received no remuneration for it, but she
ultimately obtained 2,000 guineas. People had no idea of cooking in
those days; and she laments in her preface the scarcity of good melted
butter, good toast and water, and good coffee. Her directions were
sensible and clear; and she studied economical cooking, which great
cooks like Ude and Francatelli despised. It is not every one who can
afford to prepare for a good dish by stewing down half-a-dozen hams.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF STATIONERS' HALL (_see page 230_).]

The hall of the Stationers' Company hides itself with the modesty of an
author in Stationers' Hall Court, Ludgate Hill, close abutting on
Paternoster Row, a congenial neighbourhood. This hall of the master, and
keeper, and wardens, and commonalty of the mystery or art of the
Stationers of the City of London stands on the site of Burgavenny House,
which the Stationers modified and re-erected in the third and fourth
years of Philip and Mary--the dangerous period when the company was
first incorporated. The old house had been, in the reign of Edward III.,
the palace of John, Duke of Bretagne and Earl of Richmond. It was
afterwards occupied by the Earls of Pembroke. In Elizabeth's reign it
belonged to Lord Abergavenny, whose daughter married Sir Thomas Vane. In
1611 (James I.) the Stationers' Company purchased it and took complete
possession. The house was swept away in the Great Fire of 1666, when the
Stationers--the greatest sufferers on that occasion--lost property to
the amount of £200,000.

The fraternity of the Stationers of London (says Mr. John Gough Nichols,
F.S.A., who has written a most valuable and interesting historical
notice of the Worshipful Company) is first mentioned in the fourth year
of Henry IV., when their bye-laws were approved by the City authorities,
and they are then described as "writers (transcribers), lymners of books
and dyverse things for the Church and other uses." In early times all
special books were protected by special letters patent, so that the
early registers of Stationers' Hall chiefly comprise books of
entertainment, sermons, pamphlets, and ballads.

Mary originally incorporated the society in order to put a stop to
heretical writings, and gave the Company power to search in any shop,
house, chamber, or building of printer, binder, or seller, for books
published contrary to statutes, acts, and proclamations. King James, in
the first year of his reign, by letters-patent, granted the Stationers'
Company the exclusive privilege of printing Almanacs, Primers, Psalters,
the A B C, the "Little Catechism," and Nowell's Catechism.

The Stationers' Company, for two important centuries in English history
(says Mr. Cunningham), had pretty well the monopoly of learning.
Printers were obliged to serve their time to a member of the Company;
and almost every publication, from a Bible to a ballad, was required to
be "entered at Stationers' Hall." The service is now unnecessary, but
Parliament still requires, under the recent Copyright Act, that the
proprietor of every published work should register his claim in the
books of the Stationers' Company, and pay a fee of five shillings. The
number of the freemen of the Company is between 1,000 and 1,100, and of
the livery, or leading persons, about 450. The capital of the Company
amounts to upwards of £40,000, divided into shares, varying in value
from £40 to £400 each. The great treasure of the Stationers' Company is
its series of registers of works entered for publication. This valuable
collection of entries commences in 1557, and, though often consulted and
quoted, was never properly understood till Mr. J. Payne Collier
published two carefully-edited volumes of extracts from its earlier
pages.

The celebrated Bible of the year 1632, with the important word "not"
omitted in the seventh commandment--"Thou shalt _not_ commit
adultery"--was printed by the Stationers' Company. Archbishop Laud made
a Star-Chamber matter of the omission, and a heavy fine was laid upon
the Company for their neglect. And in another later edition, in Psalm
xiv. the text ran, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God."
For the omission of the important word "no" the printer was fined
£3,000. Several other errors have occurred, but the wonder is that they
have not been more frequent.

The only publications which the Company continues to issue are a Latin
gradus and almanacks, of which it had at one time the entire monopoly.
Almanack-day at Stationers' Hall (every 22nd of November, at three
o'clock) is a sight worth seeing, from the bustle of the porters anxious
to get off with early supplies. The Stationers' Company's almanacks are
now by no means the best of the day. Mr. Charles Knight, who worked so
strenuously and so successfully for the spread of popular education,
first struck a blow at the absurd monopoly of almanack printing. So much
behind the age is this privileged Company, that it actually still
continues to publish Moore's quack almanack, with the nonsensical old
astrological tables, describing the moon's influence on various parts of
the human body. One year it is said they had the courage to leave out
this farrago, with the hieroglyphics originally stolen by Lilly from
monkish manuscripts, and from Lilly stolen by Moore. The result was that
most of the copies were returned on their hands. They have not since
dared to oppose the stolid force of vulgar ignorance. They still publish
Wing's sheet almanack, though Wing was an impostor and fortune-teller,
who died eight years after the Restoration. All this is very unworthy of
a privileged company, with an invested capital of £40,000, and does not
much help forward the enlightenment of the poorer classes. This Company
is entitled, for the supposed security of the copyright, to two copies
of every work, however costly, published in the United Kingdom, a
mischievous tax, which restrains the publication of many valuable but
expensive works.

The first Stationers' Hall was in Milk Street. In 1553 they removed to
St. Peter's College, near St. Paul's Deanery, where the chantry priests
of St. Paul's had previously resided. The present hall closely resembles
the hall at Bridewell, having a row of oval windows above the lower
range, which were fitted up by Mr. Mylne in 1800, when the chamber was
cased with Portland stone and the lower windows lengthened.

The great window at the upper end of the hall was erected in 1801, at
the expense of Mr. Alderman Cadell. It includes some older glass
blazoned with the arms and crest of the company, the two emblematic
figures of Religion and Learning being designed by Smirke. Like most
ancient halls, it has a raised dais, or haut place, which is occupied by
the Court table at the two great dinners in August and November. On the
wall, above the wainscoting that has glowed red with the reflection of
many a bumper of generous wine, are hung in decorous state the pavises
or shields of arms of members of the court, which in civic processions
are usually borne by a body of pensioners, the number of whom, when the
Lord Mayor is a member of the Company, corresponds with the years of
that august dignitary's age. In the old water-show these escutcheons
decorated the sides of the Company's barge when they accompanied the
Lord Mayor to Westminster, and called at the landing of Lambeth Palace
to pay their respects to the representative of their former
ecclesiastical censors. On this occasion the Archbishop usually sent out
the thirsty Stationers a hamper of wine, while the rowers of the barge
had bread and cheese and ale to their hearts' content. It is still the
custom (says Mr. Nichols) to forward the Archbishop annually a set of
the Company's almanacks, and some also to the Lord Chancellor and the
Master of the Rolls. Formerly the twelve judges and various other
persons received the same compliment. Alas for the mutation of other
things than almanacs, however; for in 1850 the Company's barge, being
sold, was taken to Oxford, where it may still be seen on the Isis, the
property of one of the College boat clubs. At the upper end of the hall
is a court cupboard or buffet for the display of the Company's plate,
and at the lower end, on either side of the doorway, is a similar
recess. The entrance-screen of the hall, guarded by allegorical figures,
and crowned by the royal arms (with the inescutcheon of Nassau--William
III.), is richly adorned with carvings.

Stationers' Hall was in 1677 used for Divine service by the parish of
St. Martin's, Ludgate, and towards the end of the seventeenth century an
annual musical festival was instituted on the 22nd of November, in
commemoration of Saint Cecilia, and as an excuse for some good music. A
splendid entertainment was provided in the hall, preceded by a grand
concert of vocal and instrumental music, which was attended by people of
the first rank. The special attraction was always an ode to Saint
Cecilia, set by Purcell, Blow, or some other eminent composer of the
day. Dryden's and Pope's odes are almost too well known to need mention;
but Addison, Yalden, Shadwell, and even D'Urfey, tried their hands on
praises of the same musical saint.

After several odes by the mediocre satirist, Oldham, and that poor
verse-maker, Nahum Tate, who scribbled upon King David's tomb, came
Dryden. The music to the first ode, says Scott, was first written by
Percival Clarke, who killed himself in a fit of lovers' melancholy in
1707. It was then reset by Draghi, the Italian composer, and in 1711 was
again set by Clayton for one of Sir Richard Steele's public concerts.
The first ode (1687) contains those fine lines:--

    "From harmony, from heavenly harmony,
        This universal frame began;
        From harmony to harmony,
    Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
    The diapason closing full in man."

Of the composition of this ode, for which Dryden received £40, and which
was afterwards eclipsed by the glories of its successor, the following
interesting anecdote is told:--

"Mr. St. John, afterwards Lord Bolingbroke, happening to pay a morning
visit to Dryden, whom he always respected, found him in an unusual
agitation of spirits, even to a trembling. On inquiring the cause, 'I
have been up all night,' replied the old bard. 'My musical friends made
me promise to write them an ode for their feast of St. Cecilia. I have
been so struck with the subject which occurred to me, that I could not
leave it till I had completed it. Here it is, finished at one sitting.'
And immediately he showed him the ode."

Dryden's second ode, "Alexander's Feast; or, the Power of Music," was
written for the St. Cecilian Feast at Stationers' Hall in 1697. This ode
ends with those fine and often-quoted lines on the fair saint:--

    "Let old Timotheus yield the prize,
      Or both divide the crown;
    He raised a mortal to the skies,
      She drew an angel down."

Handel, in 1736, set this ode, and reproduced it at Covent Garden, with
deserved success. Not often do such a poet and such a musician meet at
the same anvil. The great German also set the former ode, which is known
as "The Ode on St. Cecilia's Day." Dryden himself told Tonson that he
thought with the town that this ode was the best of all his poetry; and
he said to a young flatterer at Will's, with honest pride--"You are
right, young gentleman; a nobler never was produced, nor ever will."

Many magnificent funerals have been marshalled in the Stationers' Hall;
it has also been used for several great political banquets. In
September, 1831, the Reform members of the House of Commons gave a
dinner to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Lord Althorp) and to Lord
John Russell--Mr. Abercromby (afterwards Speaker) presiding. In May,
1842, the Duke of Wellington presided over a dinner for the Infant
Orphan Asylum, and in June, 1847, a dinner for the King's College
Hospital was given under Sir Robert Peel's presidency. In the great
kitchen below the hall, Mr. Nichols, who is an honorary member of the
Company, says there have been sometimes seen at the same time as many as
eighteen haunches of venison, besides a dozen necks and other joints;
for these companies are as hospitable as they are rich.

The funeral feast of Thomas Sutton, of the Charterhouse, was given May
28th, 1612, in Stationers' Hall, the procession having started from
Doctor Law's, in Paternoster Row. For the repast were provided "32
neats' tongues, 40 stone of beef, 24 marrow-bones, 1 lamb, 46 capons, 32
geese, 4 pheasants, 12 pheasants' pullets, 12 godwits, 24 rabbits, 6
hearnshaws, 43 turkey-chickens, 48 roast chickens, 18 house pigeons, 72
field pigeons, 36 quails, 48 ducklings, 160 eggs, 3 salmon, 4 congers,
10 turbots, 2 dories, 24 lobsters, 4 mullets, a firkin and keg of
sturgeon, 3 barrels of pickled oysters, 6 gammon of bacon, 4 Westphalia
gammons, 16 fried tongues, 16 chicken pies, 16 pasties, 16 made dishes
of rice, 16 neats'-tongue pies, 16 custards, 16 dishes of bait, 16 mince
pies, 16 orange pies, 16 gooseberry tarts, 8 redcare pies, 6 dishes of
whitebait, and 6 grand salads."

To the west of the hall is the handsome court-room, where the meetings
of the Company are held. The wainscoting, &c., were renewed in the year
1757, and an octagonal card-room was added by Mr. Mylne in 1828. On the
opposite side of the hall is the stock-room, adorned by beautiful
carvings of the school of Grinling Gibbons. Here the commercial
committees of the Company usually meet.

The nine painted storeys which stood in the old hall, above the wainscot
in the council parlour, probably crackled to dust in the Great Fire,
which also rolled up and took away the portraits of John Cawood, printer
to Philip and Mary, and his master, John Raynes. This same John Cawood
seems to have been specially munificent in his donations to the Company,
for he gave two new stained-glass windows to the hall; also a
hearse-cover, of cloth and gold, powdered with blue velvet and bordered
with black velvet, embroidered and stained with blue, yellow, red, and
green, besides considerable plate.

The Company's curious collection of plate is carefully described by Mr.
Nichols. In 1581 it seems every master on quitting the chair was
required to give a piece of plate, weighing fourteen ounces at least;
and every upper or under warden a piece of plate of at least three
ounces. In this accumulative manner the Worshipful Company soon became
possessed of a glittering store of "salts," gilt bowls, college pots,
snuffers, cups, and flagons. Their greatest trophy seems to have been a
large silver-gilt bowl, given in 1626 by a Mr. Hulet (Owlett), weighing
sixty ounces, and shaped like an owl, in allusion to the donor's name.
In the early Civil War, when the Company had to pledge their plate to
meet the heavy loans exacted by Charles the Martyr from a good many of
his unfortunate subjects, the cherished Owlett was specially excepted.
Among other memorials in the possession of the Company was a silver
college cup bought in memory of Mr. John Sweeting, who, dying in 1659
(the year before the Restoration), founded by will the pleasant annual
venison dinner of the Company in August.

It is supposed that all the great cupboards of plate were lost in the
fire of 1666, for there is no piece now existing (says Mr. Nichols) of
an earlier date than 1676. It has been the custom also from time to time
to melt down obsolete plate into newer forms and more useful vessels.
Thus salvers and salt-cellars were in 1720-21 turned into monteaths, or
bowls, filled with water, to keep the wine-glasses cool; and in 1844 a
handsome rosewater dish was made out of a silver bowl, and an old
tea-urn and coffee-urn. This custom is rather too much like Saturn
devouring his own children, and has led to the destruction of many
curious old relics. The massive old plate now remaining is chiefly of
the reign of Charles II. High among these presents tower the quaint
silver candlesticks bequeathed by Mr. Richard Royston, twice Master of
the Stationers' Company, who died in 1686, and had been bookseller to
three kings--James I., Charles I., and Charles II. The ponderous
snuffers and snuffer-box are gone. There were also three other pairs of
candlesticks, given by Mr. Nathanael Cole, who had been clerk of the
Company, at his death in 1760. A small two-handled cup was bequeathed in
1771 by that worthy old printer, William Bowyer, as a memorial of the
Company's munificence to his father after his loss by fire in 1712-13.

The Stationers are very charitable. Their funds spring chiefly from
£1,150 bequeathed to them by Mr. John Norton, the printer to the learned
Queen Elizabeth in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, alderman of London in the
reign of James I., and thrice Master of this Company. The money laid out
by Norton's wish in the purchase of estates in fee-simple in Wood Street
has grown and grown. One hundred and fifty pounds out of this bequest
the old printer left to the minister and churchwardens of St. Faith, in
order to have distributed weekly to twelve poor persons--six appointed
by the parish, and six by the Stationers' Company--twopence each and a
penny loaf, the vantage loaf (the thirteenth allowed by the baker) to be
the clerk's; ten shillings to be paid for an annual sermon on Ash
Wednesday at St. Faith's; the residue to be laid out in cakes, wine, and
ale for the Company of Stationers, either before or after the sermon.
The liverymen still (according to Mr. Nichols) enjoy this annual dole of
well-spiced and substantial buns. The sum of £1,000 was left for the
generous purpose of advancing small loans to struggling young men in
business. In 1861, however, the Company, under the direction of the
Court of Chancery, devoted the sum to the founding of a commercial
school in Bolt Court for the sons of liverymen and freemen of the
Company, and £8,500 were spent in purchasing Mr. Bensley's premises and
Dr. Johnson's old house. The doctor's usual sitting-room is now occupied
by the head master. The school itself is built on the site formerly
occupied by Johnson's garden. The boys pay a quarterage not exceeding
£2. The school has four exhibitions.

The pictures at Stationers' Hall are worthy of mention. In the
stock-room are portraits, after Kneller, of Prior and Steele, which
formerly belonged to Harley, Earl of Oxford, Swift's great patron. The
best picture in the room is a portrait by an unknown painter of Tycho
Wing, the astronomer, holding a celestial globe. Tycho was the son of
Vincent Wing, the first author of the almanacks still published under
his name, and who died in 1668. There are also portraits of that worthy
old printer, Samuel Richardson and his wife; Archbishop Tillotson, by
Kneller; Bishop Hoadley, prelate of the Order of the Garter; Robert
Nelson, the author of the "Fasts and Festivals," who died in 1714-15, by
Kneller; and one of William Bowyer, the Whitefriars printer, with a
posthumous bust beneath it of his son, the printer of the votes of the
House of Commons. There was formerly a brass plate beneath this bust
expressing the son's gratitude to the Company for their munificence to
his father after the fire which destroyed his printing-office.

In the court-room hangs a portrait of John Boydell, who was Lord Mayor
of London in the year 1791. This picture, by Graham, was formerly
surrounded by allegorical figures of Justice, Prudence, Industry, and
Commerce; but they have been cut out to reduce the canvas to Kit-cat
size. There is a portrait, by Owen, of Lord Mayor Domville, Master of
the Stationers' Company, in the actual robe he wore when he rode before
the Prince Regent and the Allies in 1814 to the Guildhall banquet and
the Peace thanksgiving. In the card-room is an early picture, by West,
of King Alfred dividing his loaf with the pilgrim--a representation, by
the way, of a purely imaginary occurrence--in fact, the old legend is
that it was really St. Cuthbert who executed this generous partition.
There are also portraits of the two Strahans, Masters in 1774 and 1816;
one of Alderman Cadell, Master in 1798, by Sir William Beechey; and one
of John Nicholls, Master of the Company in 1804, after a portrait by
Jackson. In the hall, over the gallery, is a picture, by Graham, of Mary
Queen of Scots escaping from the Castle of Lochleven. It was engraved by
Dawe, afterwards a Royal Academician, when he was only fourteen years of
age.

The arms of the Company appear from a Herald visitation of 1634 to have
been azure on a chevron, an eagle volant, with a diadem between two red
roses, with leaves vert, between three books clasped gold; in chief,
issuing out of a cloud, the sunbeams gold, a holy spirit, the wings
displayed silver, with a diadem gold. In later times the books have been
blazoned as Bibles. In a "tricking" in the volume before mentioned, in
the College of Arms, St. John the Evangelist stands behind the shield in
the attitude of benediction, and bearing in his left hand a cross with a
serpent rising from it (much more suitable for the scriveners or law
writers, by the bye). On one side of the shield stands the Evangelist's
emblematic eagle, holding an inkhorn in his beak. The Company never
received any grant of arms or supporters, but about the year 1790 two
angels seem to have been used as supporters. About 1788 the motto
"Verbum Domini manet in eternum" (The word of the Lord endureth for
ever) began to be adopted, and in the same year the crest of an eagle
was used. On the silver badge of the Company's porter the supporters are
naked winged boys, and the eagle on the chevron is turned into a dove
holding an olive-branch. Some of the buildings of the present hall are
still let to Paternoster Row booksellers as warehouses.

The list of masters of this Company includes Sir John Key, Bart. ("Don
Key"), Lord Mayor in 1831-1832. In 1712 Thomas Parkhurst, who had been
Master of the Worshipful Company in 1683, left £37 to purchase Bibles
and Psalters, to be annually given to the poor; hence the old custom of
giving Bibles to apprentices bound at Stationers' Hall.

This is the first of the many City companies of which we shall have by
turns to make mention in the course of this work. Though no longer
useful as a guild to protect a trade which now needs no fostering, we
have seen that it still retains some of its mediæval virtues. It is
hospitable and charitable as ever, if not so given to grand funeral
services and ecclesiastical ceremonials. Its privileges have grown out
of date and obsolete, but they harm no one but authors, and to the
wrongs of authors both Governments and Parliaments have been from time
immemorial systematically indifferent.

[Illustration: OLD ST. PAUL'S, FROM A VIEW BY HOLLAR.]




CHAPTER XX.

ST. PAUL'S.

    London's chief Sanctuary of Religion--The Site of St. Paul's--The
    Earliest authenticated Church there--The Shrine of Erkenwald--St.
    Paul's Burnt and Rebuilt--It becomes the Scene of a Strange
    Incident--Important Political Meeting within its Walls--The Great
    Charter published there--St. Paul's and Papal Power in
    England--Turmoils around the Grand Cathedral--Relics and Chantry
    Chapels in St. Paul's--Royal Visits to St. Paul's--Richard, Duke of
    York, and Henry VI.--A Fruitless Reconciliation--Jane Shore's
    Penance--A Tragedy of the Lollards' Tower--A Royal Marriage--Henry
    VIII. and Cardinal Wolsey at St. Paul's--"Peter of Westminster"--A
    Bonfire of Bibles--The Cathedral Clergy Fined--A Miraculous
    Rood--St. Paul's under Edward VI. and Bishop Ridley--A Protestant
    Tumult at Paul's Cross--Strange Ceremonials--Queen Elizabeth's
    Munificence--The Burning of the Spire--Desecration of the
    Nave--Elizabeth and Dean Nowell--Thanksgiving for the Armada--The
    "Children of Paul's"--Government Lotteries--Executions in the
    Churchyard--Inigo Jones's Restorations and the Puritan
    Parliament--The Great Fire of 1666--Burning of Old St. Paul's, and
    Destruction of its Monuments--Evelyn's Description of the Fire--Sir
    Christopher Wren called in.


Stooping under the flat iron bar that lies like a bone in the mouth of
Ludgate Hill, we pass up the gentle ascent between shops hung with gold
chains, brimming with wealth, or crowded with all the luxuries that
civilisation has turned into necessities; and once past the impertinent
black spire of St. Martin's, we come full-butt upon the great grey dome.
The finest building in London, with the worst approach; the shrine of
heroes; the model of grace; the _chef-d'oeuvre_ of a great genius,
rises before us, and between its sable Corinthian pillars we have now
to thread our way in search of the old legends of St. Paul's.

The old associations rise around us as we pass across the paved area
that surrounds Queen Anne's mean and sooty statue. From the times of the
Saxons to the present day, London's chief sanctuary of religion has
stood here above the river, a landmark to the ships of all nations that
have floated on the welcoming waters of the Thames. That great dome,
circled with its coronet of gold, is the first object the pilgrim
traveller sees, whether he approach by river or by land; the sparkle of
that golden cross is seen from many a distant hill and plain. St. Paul's
is the central object--the very palladium--of modern London.

[Illustration: OLD ST. PAUL'S.--THE INTERIOR, LOOKING EAST.]

Camden, the Elizabethan historian, revived an old tradition that a Roman
temple to Diana once stood where St. Paul's was afterwards built; and he
asserts that in the reign of Edward III. an incredible quantity of
ox-skulls, stag-horns, and boars' tusks, together with some sacrificial
vessels, were exhumed on this site. Selden, a better Orientalist than
Celtic scholar (Charles I.), derived the name of London from two Welsh
words, "Llan-den"--church of Diana. Dugdale, to confirm these
traditions, drags a legend out of an obscure monkish chronicle, to the
effect that during the Diocletian persecution, in which St. Alban, a
centurion, was martyred, the Romans demolished a church standing on the
site of St. Paul's, and raised a temple to Diana on its ruins, while in
Thorny Island, Westminster, St. Peter, in the like manner, gave way to
Apollo. These myths are, however, more than doubtful.

Sir Christopher Wren's excavations for the foundation of modern St.
Paul's entirely refuted these confused stories, to which the learned
and the credulous had paid too much deference. He dug down to the
river-level, and found neither ox-bone nor stag-horn. What he did find,
however, was curious. It was this:--1. Below the mediæval graves Saxon
stone coffins and Saxon tombs, lined with slabs of chalk. 2. Lower
still, British graves, and in the earth around the ivory and boxwood
skewers that had fastened the Saxons' woollen shrouds. 3. At the same
level with the Saxon graves, and also deeper, Roman funeral urns. These
were discovered as deep as eighteen feet. Roman lamps, tear vessels, and
fragments of sacrificial vessels of Samian ware were met with chiefly
towards the Cheapside corner of the churchyard.

There had evidently been a Roman cemetery outside this Prætorian camp,
and beyond the ancient walls of London, the wise nation, by the laws of
the Twelve Tables, forbidding the interment of the dead within the walls
of a city. There may have been a British or a Saxon temple here; for the
Church tried hard to conquer and consecrate places where idolatry had
once triumphed. But the Temple of Diana was moonshine from the
beginning, and moonshine it will ever remain. The antiquaries were,
however, angry with Wren for the logical refutation of their belief. Dr.
Woodward (the "Martinus Scriblerus" of Pope and his set) was especially
vehement at the slaying of his hobby, and produced a small brass votive
image of Diana, that had been found between the Deanery and Blackfriars.
Wren, who could be contemptuous, disdained a reply, and so the matter
remained till 1830, when the discovery of a rude stone altar, with an
image of Diana, under the foundation of the new Goldsmith's Hall, Foster
Lane, Cheapside, revived the old dispute, yet did not help a whit to
prove the existence of the supposed temple to the goddess of moonshine.

The earliest authenticated church of St. Paul's was built and endowed by
Ethelbert, King of East Kent, with the sanction of Sebert, King of the
East Angles; and the first bishop who preached within its walls was
Mellitus, the companion of St. Augustine, the first Christian missionary
who visited the heathen Saxons. The visit of St. Paul to England in the
time of Boadicea's war, and that of Joseph of Arimathea, are mere
monkish legends. The Londoners again became pagan, and for thirty-eight
years there was no bishop at St. Paul's, till a brother of St. Chad of
Lichfield came and set his foot on the images of Thor and Wodin. With
the fourth successor of Mellitus, Saint Erkenwald, wealth and splendour
returned to St. Paul's. This zealous man worked miracles both before and
after his death. He used to be driven about in a cart, and one legend
says that he often preached to the woodmen in the wild forests that lay
to the north of London. On a certain day one of the cart-wheels came off
in a slough. The worthy confessor was in a dilemma. The congregation
under the oaks might have waited for ever, but the one wheel left was
equal to the occasion, for it suddenly grew invested with special powers
of balancing, and went on as steadily as a velocipede with the smiling
saint. This was pretty well, but still nothing to what happened after
the good man's death.

St. Erkenwald departed at last in the odour of sanctity at his sister's
convent at Barking. Eager to get hold of so valuable a body, the
Chertsey monks instantly made a dash for it, pursued by the equally
eager clergy of St. Paul's, who were fully alive to the value of their
dead bishop, whose shrine would become a money-box for pilgrim's
offerings. The London priests, by a forced march, got first to Barking
and bore off the body; but the monks of Chertsey and the nuns of Barking
followed, wringing their hands and loudly protesting against the theft.
The river Lea, sympathising with their prayers, rose in a flood. There
was no boat, no bridge, and a fight for the body seemed imminent. A
pious man present, however, exhorted the monks to peace, and begged them
to leave the matter to heavenly decision. The clergy of St. Paul's then
broke forth into a litany. The Lea at once subsided, the cavalcade
crossed at Stratford, the sun cast down its benediction, and the clergy
passed on to St. Paul's with their holy spoil. From that time the shrine
of Erkenwald became a source of wealth and power to the cathedral.

The Saxon kings, according to Dean Milman, were munificent to St.
Paul's. The clergy claimed Tillingham, in Essex, as a grant from King
Ethelbert, and that place still contributes to the maintenance of the
cathedral. The charters of Athelstane are questionable, but the places
mentioned in them certainly belonged to St. Paul's till the
Ecclesiastical Commissioners broke in upon that wealth; and the charter
of Canute, still preserved, and no doubt authentic, ratifies the
donations of his Saxon predecessors.

William the Conqueror's Norman Bishop of London was a good, peace-loving
man, who interceded with the stern monarch, and recovered the forfeited
privileges of the refractory London citizens. For centuries--indeed,
even up to the end of Queen Mary's reign--the mayor, aldermen, and
crafts used to make an annual procession to St. Paul's, to visit the
tomb of good Bishop William in the nave. In 1622 the Lord Mayor, Edward
Barkham, caused these quaint lines to be carved on the bishop's tomb:--

    "Walkers, whosoe'er ye bee,
    If it prove you chance to see,
    Upon a solemn scarlet day,
    The City senate pass this way,
    Their grateful memory for to show,
    Which they the reverent ashes owe
    Of Bishop Norman here inhumed,
    By whom this city has assumed
    Large privileges; those obtained
    By him when Conqueror William reigned.
    This being by Barkham's thankful mind renewed,
    Call it the monument of gratitude."

The ruthless Conqueror granted valuable privileges to St. Paul's. He
freed the church from the payment of Danegeld, and all services to the
Crown. His words (if they are authentic) are--"Some lands I give to God
and the church of St. Paul's, in London, and special franchises, because
I wish that this church may be free in all things, as I wish my soul to
be on the day of judgment." In this same reign the Primate Lanfranc held
a great council at St. Paul's--a council which Milman calls "the first
full Ecclesiastical Parliament of England." Twelve years after (1087),
the year the Conqueror died, fire, that persistent enemy of St. Paul's,
almost entirely consumed the cathedral.

Bishop Maurice set to work to erect a more splendid building, with a
vast crypt, in which the valuable remains of St. Erkenwald were
enshrined. William of Malmesbury ranked it among the great buildings of
his time. One of the last acts of the Conqueror was to give the stone of
a Palatine tower (on the subsequent site of Blackfriars) for the
building. The next bishop, De Balmeis, is said to have devoted the whole
of his revenues for twenty years to this pious work. Fierce Rufus--no
friend of monks--did little; but the milder monarch, Henry I., granted
exemption of toll to all vessels, laden with stone for St. Paul's, that
entered the Fleet.

To enlarge the area of the church, King Henry gave part of the Palatine
Tower estate, which was turned into a churchyard and encircled with a
wall, which ran along Carter Lane to Creed Lane, and was freed of
buildings. The bishop, on his part, contributed to the service of the
altar the rents of Paul's Wharf, and for a school gave the house of
Durandus, at the corner of Bell Court. On the bishop's death, the Crown
seized his wealth, and the bishop's boots were carried to the Exchequer
full of gold and silver. St. Bernard, however, praises him, and says:
"It was not wonderful that Master Gilbert should be a bishop; but that
the Bishop of London should live like a poor man, that was
magnificent."

In the reign of Stephen a dreadful fire broke out and raged from London
Bridge to St. Clement Danes. In this fire St. Paul's was partially
destroyed. The Bishop, in his appeals for contributions to the church,
pleaded that this was the only London church specially dedicated to St.
Paul. The citizens of London were staunch advocates of King Stephen
against the Empress Maud, and at their folkmote, held at the Cheapside
end of St. Paul's, claimed the privilege of naming a monarch.

In the reign of Henry II. St. Paul's was the scene of a strange incident
connected with the quarrel between the King and that ambitious
Churchman, the Primate Becket. Gilbert Foliot, the learned and austere
Bishop of London, had sided with the King and provoked the bitter hatred
of Becket. During the celebration of mass a daring emissary of Becket
had the boldness to thrust a roll, bearing the dreaded sentence of
excommunication against Foliot, into the hands of the officiating
priest, and at the same time to cry aloud--"Know all men that Gilbert,
Bishop of London, is excommunicated by Thomas, Archbishop of
Canterbury!" Foliot for a time defied the interdict, but at last bowed
to his enemy's authority, and refrained from entering the Church of St.
Paul's.

The reign of Richard I. was an eventful one to St. Paul's. In 1191, when
Coeur de Lion was in Palestine, Prince John and all the bishops met in
the nave of St. Paul's to arraign William de Longchamp, one of the
King's regents, of many acts of tyranny. In the reign of their absentee
monarch the Londoners grew mutinous, and their leader, William
Fitzosbert, or Longbeard, denounced their oppressors from Paul's Cross.
These disturbances ended in the siege of Bow Church, where Fitzosbert
had fortified himself, and by the burning alive of him and other
ringleaders. It was at this period that Dean Radulph de Diceto, a
monkish chronicler of learning, built the Deanery, "inhabited," says
Milman, "after him, by many men of letters;" before the Reformation, by
the admirable Colet; after the Reformation by Alexander Nowell, Donne,
Sancroft (who rebuilt the mansion after the Great Fire), Stillingfleet,
Tillotson, W. Sherlock, Butler, Secker, Newton, Van Mildert, Copleston,
and Milman.

St. Paul's was also the scene of one of those great meetings of
prelates, abbots, deans, priors, and barons that finally led to King
John's concession of Magna Charta. On this solemn occasion--so
important for the progress of England--the Primate Langton displayed the
old charter of Henry I. to the chief barons, and made them sacredly
pledge themselves to stand up for Magna Charta and the liberties of
England.

One of the first acts of King Henry III. was to hold a council in St.
Paul's, and there publish the Great Charter. Twelve years after, when a
Papal Legate enthroned himself in St. Paul's, he was there openly
resisted by Cantelupe, Bishop of Worcester.

Papal power in this reign attained its greatest height in England. On
the death of Bishop Roger, an opponent of these inroads, the King gave
orders that out of the episcopal revenue 1,500 poor should be feasted on
the day of the conversion of St. Paul, and 1,500 lights offered in the
church. The country was filled with Italian prelates. An Italian
Archbishop of Canterbury, coming to St. Paul's, with a cuirass under his
robes, to demand first-fruits from the Bishop, found the doors closed in
his face; and two canons of the Papal party, endeavouring to install
themselves at St. Paul's, were in 1259 killed by the angry populace.

In the reign of this weak king several folkmotes of the London citizens
were held at Paul's Cross, in the churchyard. On one occasion the king
himself, and his brother, the King of Almayne, were present. All
citizens, even to the age of twelve, were sworn to allegiance, for a
great outbreak for liberty was then imminent. The inventory of the goods
of Bishop Richard de Gravesend, Bishop of London for twenty-five years
of this reign, is still preserved in the archives of St. Paul's. It is a
roll twenty-eight feet long. The value of the whole property was nearly
£3,000, and this sum (says Milman) must be multiplied by about fifteen
to bring it to its present value.

When the citizens of London justly ranged themselves on the side of
Simon de Montfort, who stood up for their liberties, the great bell of
St. Paul's was the tocsin that summoned the burghers to arms, especially
on that memorable occasion when Queen Eleanor tried to escape by water
from the Tower to Windsor, where her husband was, and the people who
detested her tried to sink her barge as it passed London Bridge.

In the equally troublous reign of Edward II. St. Paul's was again
splashed with blood. The citizens, detesting the king's foreign
favourites, rose against the Bishop of Exeter, Edward's regent in
London. A letter from the queen, appealing to them, was affixed to the
cross in Cheapside. The bishop demanded the City keys of the Lord Mayor,
and the people sprang to arms, with cries of "Death to the queen's
enemies!" They cut off the head of a servant of the De Spensers, burst
open the gates of the Bishop of Exeter's palace (Essex Street, Strand),
and plundered, sacked, and destroyed everything. The bishop, at the time
riding in the Islington fields, hearing the danger, dashed home, and
made straight for sanctuary in St. Paul's. At the north door, however,
the mob thickening, tore him from his horse, and, hurrying him into
Cheapside, proclaimed him a traitor, and beheaded him there, with two of
his servants. They then dragged his body back to his palace, and flung
the corpse into the river.

In the inglorious close of the glorious reign of Edward III., Courtenay,
Bishop of London, an inflexible prelate, did his best to induce some of
the London rabble to plunder the Florentines, at that time the great
bankers and money-lenders of the metropolis, by reading at Paul's Cross
the interdict Gregory XI. had launched against them; but on this
occasion the Lord Mayor, leading the principal Florentine merchants into
the presence of the aged king, obtained the royal protection for them.

Wycliffe and his adherents (amongst whom figured John of Gaunt--"old
John of Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster"--Chaucer's patron) soon brewed
more trouble in St. Paul's for the proud bishop. The great reformer
being summoned to an ecclesiastical council at St. Paul's, was
accompanied by his friends, John of Gaunt and the Earl Marshal, Lord
Percy. When in the lady chapel Percy demanded a soft seat for Wycliffe.
The bishop said it was law and reason that a cited man should stand
before the ordinary. Angry words ensued, and the Duke of Lancaster
taunted Courtenay with his pride. The bishop answered, "I trust not in
man, but in God alone, who will give me boldness to speak the truth." A
rumour was spread that John of Gaunt had threatened to drag the bishop
out of the church by the hair, and that he had vowed to abolish the
title of Lord Mayor. A tumult began. All through the City the billmen
and bowmen gathered. The Savoy, John of Gaunt's palace, would have been
burned but for the intercession of the bishop. A priest mistaken for
Percy was murdered. The duke fled to Kensington, and joined the Princess
of Wales.

Richard II., that dissolute, rash, and unfortunate monarch, once only
(alive) came to St. Paul's in great pomp, his robes hung with bells, and
afterwards feasted at the house of his favourite, Sir Nicholas Brember,
who was eventually put to death. The Lollards were now making way, and
Archbishop Courtenay had a great barefooted procession to St. Paul's to
hear a famous Carmelite preacher inveigh against the Wycliffe doctrines.
A Lollard, indeed, had the courage to nail to the doors of St. Paul's
twelve articles of the new creed denouncing the mischievous celibacy of
the clergy, transubstantiation, prayers for the dead, pilgrimages, and
other mistaken and idolatrous usages. When Henry Bolingbroke (not yet
crowned Henry IV.) came to St. Paul's to offer prayer for the
dethronement of his ill-fated cousin, Richard, he paused at the north
side of the altar to shed tears over the grave of his father, John of
Gaunt, interred early that very year in the Cathedral. Not long after
the shrunken body of the dead king, on its way to the Abbey, was exposed
in St. Paul's, to prove to the populace that Richard was not still
alive. Hardynge, in his chronicles (quoted by Milman), says that the
usurping king and his nobles spread--some seven, some nine--cloths of
gold on the bier of the murdered king.

Bishop Braybroke, in the reign of Edward IV., was strenuous in
denouncing ecclesiastical abuses. Edward III. himself had denounced the
resort of mechanics to the refectory, the personal vices of the priests,
and the pilfering of sacred vessels. He restored the communion-table,
and insisted on daily alms-giving. But Braybroke also condemned worse
abuses. He issued a prohibition at Paul's Cross against barbers shaving
on Sundays; he forbade the buying and selling in the Cathedral, the
flinging stones and shooting arrows at the pigeons and jackdaws nestling
in the walls of the church, and the playing at ball, both within and
without the church, a practice which led to the breaking of many
beautiful and costly painted windows.

But here we stop awhile in our history of St. Paul's, on the eve of the
sanguinary wars of the Roses, to describe mediæval St. Paul's, its
structure, and internal government. Foremost among the relics were two
arms of St. Mellitus (miraculously enough, of quite different sizes).
Behind the high altar--what Dean Milman justly calls "the pride, glory,
and fountain of wealth" to St. Paul's--was the body of St. Erkenwald,
covered with a shrine which three London goldsmiths had spent a whole
year in chiselling; and this shrine was covered with a grate of tinned
iron. The very dust of the chapel floor, mingled with water, was said to
work instantaneous cures. On the anniversary of St. Erkenwald the whole
clergy of the diocese attended in procession in their copes. When King
John of France was made captive at Poictiers, and paid his orisons at
St. Paul's, he presented four golden basins to the high altar, and
twenty-two nobles at the shrine of St. Erkenwald. Milman calculates that
in 1344 the oblation-box alone at St. Paul's produced an annual sum to
the dean and chapter of £9,000. Among other relics that were milch cows
to the monks were a knife of our Lord, some hair of Mary Magdalen, blood
of St. Paul, milk of the Virgin, the hand of St. John, pieces of the
mischievous skull of Thomas à Becket, and the head and jaw of King
Ethelbert. These were all preserved in jewelled cases. One hundred and
eleven anniversary masses were celebrated. The chantry chapels in the
Cathedral were very numerous, and they were served by an army of idle
and often dissolute mass priests. There was one chantry in Pardon
Churchyard, on the north side of St. Paul's, east of the bishop's
chapel, where St. Thomas Becket's ancestors were buried. The grandest
was one near the nave, built by Bishop Kemp, to pray for himself and his
royal master, Edward IV. Another was founded by Henry IV. for the souls
of his father, John of Gaunt, and his mother, Blanche of Castile. A
third was built by Lord Mayor Pulteney, who was buried in St. Lawrence
Pulteney, so called from him. The revenues of these chantries were vast.

But to return to our historical sequence. During the ruthless Wars of
the Roses St. Paul's became the scene of many curious ceremonials, on
which Shakespeare himself has touched, in his early historical plays. It
was on a platform at the cathedral door that Roger Bolingbroke, the
spurious necromancer who was supposed to have aided the ambitious
designs of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, was exhibited. The
Duchess's penance for the same offence, according to Milman's opinion,
commenced or closed near the cathedral, in that shameful journey when
she was led through the streets wrapped in a sheet, and carrying a
lighted taper in her hand. The duke, her husband, was eventually buried
at St. Paul's, where his tomb became the haunt of needy men about town,
whence the well-known proverb of "dining with Duke Humphrey."

Henry VI.'s first peaceful visit to St. Paul's is quaintly sketched by
that dull old poet, Lydgate, who describes "the bishops _in
pontificalibus_, the Dean of Paules and canons, every one who conveyed
the king"

    "Up into the church, with full devout singing;
    And when he had made his offering,
    The mayor, the citizens, bowed and left him."

While all the dark troubles still were pending, we find the Duke of York
taking a solemn oath on the host of fealty to King Henry. Six years
later, after the battle of St. Albans, the Yorkists and Lancastrians met
again at the altar of St. Paul's in feigned unity. The poor weak monarch
was crowned, and had sceptre in hand, and his proud brilliant queen
followed him in smiling converse with the Duke of York. Again the city
poet broke into rejoicing at the final peace:--

    "At Paul's in London, with great renown,
      On Lady Day in Lent, this peace was wrought;
    The King, the Queen, with lords many an one,
      To worship the Virgin as they ought,
    Went in procession, and spared right nought
      In sight of all the commonalty;
    In token this love was in heart and thought,
      Rejoice England in concord and unity."

[Illustration: THE CHURCH OF ST. FAITH, THE CRYPT OF OLD ST. PAUL'S,
FROM A VIEW BY HOLLAR.]

Alas for such reconciliations! Four years later more blood had been
shed, more battle-fields strewn with dead. The king was a captive, had
disinherited his own son, and granted the succession to the Duke of
York, whose right a Parliament had acknowledged. His proud queen was in
the North rallying the scattered Lancastrians. York and Warwick, Henry's
deadly enemies, knelt before the primate, and swore allegiance to the
king; and the duke's two sons, March and Rutland, took the same oath.

Within a few months Wakefield was fought; Richard was slain, and the
duke's head, adorned with a mocking paper crown, was sent, by the
she-wolf of a queen, to adorn the walls of York.

The next year, however, fortune forsook Henry for ever, and St. Paul's
welcomed Edward IV. and the redoubtable "king-maker," who had won the
crown for him at the battle of Mortimer's Cross; and no Lancastrian
dared show his face on that triumphant day. Ten years later Warwick,
veering to the downfallen king, was slain at Barnet, and the body of the
old warrior, and that of his brother, were exposed, barefaced, for three
days in St. Paul's, to the delight of all true Yorkists. Those were
terrible times, and the generosity of the old chivalry seemed now
despised and forgotten. The next month there was even a sadder sight,
for the body of King Henry himself was displayed in the Cathedral.
Broken-hearted, said the Yorkists, but the Lancastrian belief (favoured
by Shakespeare) was that Richard Duke of Gloucester, the wicked
Crookback, stabbed him with his own hand in the Tower, and it was said
that blood poured from the body when it lay in the Cathedral. Again St.
Paul's was profaned at the death of Edward IV., when Richard came to pay
his ostentatious orisons in the Cathedral, while he was already planning
the removal of the princes to the Tower. Always anxious to please the
London citizens, it was to St. Paul's Cross that Richard sent Dr. Shaw
to accuse Clarence of illegitimacy. At St. Paul's, too, according to
Shakespeare, who in his historic plays often follows traditions now
forgotten, or chronicles that have perished, the charges against
Hastings were publicly read. Jane Shore, the mistress, and supposed
accomplice of Hastings in bewitching Richard, did penance in St. Paul's.
She was the wife of a London goldsmith, and had been mistress of Edward
IV. Her beauty, as she walked downcast with shame, is said to have moved
every heart to pity. On his accession, King Richard, nervously fingering
his dagger, as was his wont to do according to the chronicles, rode to
St. Paul's, and was received by procession, amid great congratulation
and acclamation from the fickle people. Kemp, who was the Yorkist bishop
during all these dreadful times, rebuilt St. Paul's Cross, which then
became one of the chief ornaments of London.

[Illustration: ST. PAUL'S AFTER THE FALL OF THE SPIRE, FROM A VIEW BY
HOLLAR (_see page 244_).]

Richard's crown was presently beaten into a hawthorn bush on Bosworth
Field, and his defaced, mangled, and ill-shaped body thrown, like
carrion, across a pack-horse and driven off to Leicester, and Henry
VII., the astute, the wily, the thrifty, reigned in his stead. After
Henry's victory over Simnel he came two successive days to St. Paul's to
offer his thanksgiving, and Simnel (afterwards a scullion in the royal
kitchen) rode humbly at his conqueror's side.

The last ceremonial of the reign of Henry VII. that took place at St.
Paul's was the ill-fated marriage of Prince Arthur (a mere boy, who died
six months after) with Katherine of Arragon. The whole church was hung
with tapestry, and there was a huge scaffold, with seats round it,
reaching from the west door to the choir. On this platform the ceremony
was performed. All day, at several places in the city, and at the west
door of the Cathedral, the conduits ran for the delighted people with
red and white wine. The wedded children were lodged in the bishop's
palace, and three days later returned by water to Westminster. When
Henry VII. died, his body lay in state in St. Paul's, and from thence it
was taken to Windsor, to remain there till the beautiful chapel he had
endowed at Westminster was ready for his reception. The Dean and Chapter
of St. Paul's were among the trustees for the endowment he left, and the
Cathedral still possesses the royal testament.

A Venetian ambassador who was present has left a graphic description of
one of the earliest ceremonies (1514) which Henry VIII. witnessed at St.
Paul's. The Pope (Leo X.) had sent the young and chivalrous king a sword
and cap of maintenance, as a special mark of honour. The cap was of
purple satin, covered with embroidery and pearls, and decked with
ermine. The king rode from the bishop's palace to the cathedral on a
beautiful black palfrey, the nobility walking before him in pairs. At
the high altar the king donned the cap, and was girt with the sword. The
procession then made the entire circuit of the church. The king wore a
gown of purple satin and gold in chequer, and a jewelled collar; his cap
of purple velvet had two jewelled rosettes, and his doublet was of gold
brocade. The nobles wore massive chains of gold, and their chequered
silk gowns were lined with sables, lynx-fur, and swansdown.

In the same reign Richard Fitz James, the fanatical Bishop of London,
persecuted the Lollards, and burned two of the most obstinate at
Smithfield. It is indeed, doubtful, even now, if Fitz James, in his
hatred of the reformers, stopped short of murder. In 1514, Richard Hunn,
a citizen who had disputed the jurisdiction of the obnoxious
Ecclesiastical Court, was thrown into the Lollard's Tower (the bishop's
prison, at the south-west corner of the Cathedral). A Wycliffe Bible had
been found in his house; he was adjudged a heretic, and one night this
obstinate man was found hung in his cell. The clergy called it suicide,
but the coroner brought in a verdict of wilful murder against the
Bishop's Chancellor, the sumner, and the bell-ringer of the Cathedral.
The king, however, pardoned them all on their paying £1,500 to Hunn's
family. The bishop, still furious, burned Hunn's body sixteen days
after, as that of a heretic, in Smithfield. This fanatical bishop was
the ceaseless persecutor of Dean Colet, that excellent and enlightened
man, who founded St. Paul's School, and was the untiring friend of
Erasmus, whom he accompanied on his memorable visit to Becket's shrine
at Canterbury.

In 1518 Wolsey, proud and portly, appears upon the scene, coming to St.
Paul's to sing mass and celebrate eternal peace between France, England,
and Spain, and the betrothal of the beautiful Princess Mary to the
Dauphin of France. The large chapel and the choir were hung with gold
brocade, blazoned with the king's arms. Near the altar was the king's
pew, formed of cloth of gold, and in front of it a small altar covered
with silver-gilt images, with a gold cross in the centre. Two low masses
were said at this before the king, while high mass was being sung to
the rest. On the opposite side of the altar, on a raised and canopied
chair, sat Wolsey; further off stood the legate Campeggio. The twelve
bishops and six abbots present all wore their jewelled mitres, while the
king himself shone out in a tunic of purple velvet, "powdered" with
pearls and rubies, sapphires and diamonds. His collar was studded with
carbuncles as large as walnuts. A year later Charles V. was proclaimed
emperor by the heralds at St. Paul's. Wolsey gave the benediction, no
doubt with full hope of the Pope's tiara.

In 1521, but a little later, Wolsey, "Cardinal of St. Cecilia and
Archbishop of York," was welcomed by Dean Pace to St. Paul's. He had
come to sit near Paul's Cross, to hear Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, by
the Pope's command, denounce "Martinus Eleutherius" and his accursed
works, many of which were burned in the churchyard during the sermon, no
doubt to the infinite alarm of all heretical booksellers in the
neighbouring street. Wolsey had always an eye to the emperor's helping
him to the papacy; and when Charles V. came to England to visit Henry,
in 1522, Wolsey said mass, censed by more than twenty obsequious
prelates. It was Wolsey who first, as papal legate, removed the
convocation entirely from St. Paul's to Westminster, to be near his
house at Whitehall. His ribald enemy, Skelton, then hiding from the
cardinal's wrath in the Sanctuary at Westminster, wrote the following
rough distich on the arbitrary removal:--

    "Gentle Paul, lay down thy sword,
    For Peter of Westminster hath shaven thy beard."

On the startling news of the battle of Pavia, when Francis I. was taken
prisoner by his great rival of Spain, a huge bonfire illumined the west
front of St. Paul's, and hogsheads of claret were broached at the
Cathedral door, to celebrate the welcome tidings. On the Sunday after,
the bluff king, the queen, and both houses of Parliament, attended a
solemn "Te Deum" at the cathedral; while on St. Matthew's Day there was
a great procession of all the religious orders in London, and Wolsey,
with his obsequious bishops, performed service at the high altar. Two
years later Wolsey came again, to lament or rejoice over the sack of
Rome by the Constable Bourbon, and the captivity of the Pope.

Singularly enough, the fire lighted by Wolsey in St. Paul's Churchyard
had failed to totally burn up Luther and all his works; and on Shrove
Tuesday, 1527, Wolsey made another attempt to reduce the new-formed
Bible to ashes. In the great procession that came on this day to St.
Paul's there were six Lutherans in penitential dresses, carrying
terribly symbolical fagots and huge lighted tapers. On a platform in the
nave sat the portly and proud cardinal, supported by thirty-six zealous
bishops, abbots, and priests. At the foot of the great rood over the
northern door the heretical tracts and Testaments were thrown into a
fire. The prisoners, on their knees, begged pardon of God and the
Catholic Church, and were then led three times round the fire, which
they fed with the fagots they had carried.

Four years later, after Wolsey's fall, the London clergy were summoned
to St. Paul's Chapter-house (near the south side). The king, offended at
the Church having yielded to Wolsey's claims as a papal legate, by which
the penalty of præmunire had been incurred, had demanded from it the
alarming fine of £100,000. Immediately six hundred clergy of all ranks
thronged riotously to the chapter-house, to resist this outrageous tax.
The bishop was all for concession; their goods and lands were forfeit,
their bodies liable to imprisonment. The humble clergy cried out, "We
have never meddled in the cardinal's business. Let the bishops and
abbots, who have offended, pay." Blows were struck, and eventually
fifteen priests and four laymen were condemned to terms of imprisonment
in the Fleet and Tower, for their resistance to despotic power.

In 1535 nineteen German Anabaptists were examined in St. Paul's, and
fourteen of them sent to the stake. Then came plain signs that the
Reformation had commenced. The Pope's authority had been denied at
Paul's Cross in 1534. A miraculous rood from Kent was brought to St.
Paul's, and the machinery that moved the eyes and lips was shown to the
populace, after which it was thrown down and broken amid contemptuous
laughter. Nor would this chapter be complete if we did not mention a
great civic procession at the close of the reign of Henry VIII. On Whit
Sunday, 1546, the children of Paul's School, with parsons and vicars of
every London church, in their copes, went from St. Paul's to St.
Peter's, Cornhill, Bishop Bonner bearing the sacrament under a canopy;
and at the Cross, before the mayor, aldermen, and all the crafts,
heralds proclaimed perpetual peace between England, France, and the
Emperor. Two months after, the ex-bishop of Rochester preached a sermon
at Paul's Cross recanting his heresy, four of his late fellow-prisoners
in Newgate having obstinately perished at the stake.

In the reign of Edward VI. St. Paul's witnessed far different scenes.
The year of the accession of the child-king, funeral service was read
to the memory of Francis I., Latin dirges were chanted, and eight mitred
bishops sang a requiem to the monarch lately deceased. At the
coronation, while the guilds were marshalled along Cheapside, and
tapestries hung from every window, an acrobat descended by a cable from
St. Paul's steeple to the anchor of a ship near the Deanery door. In
November of the next year, at night, the crucifixes and images in St.
Paul's were pulled down and removed, to the horror of the faithful, and
all obits and chantreys were confiscated, and the vestments and altar
cloths were sold. The early reformers were backed by greedy partisans.
The Protector Somerset, who was desirous of building rapidly a sumptuous
palace in the Strand, pulled down the chapel and charnel-house in the
Pardon churchyard, and carted off the stones of St. Paul's cloister.
When the good Ridley was installed Bishop of London, he would not enter
the choir until the lights on the altar were extinguished. Very soon a
table was substituted for the altar, and there was an attempt made to
remove the organ. The altar, and chapel, and tombs (all but John of
Gaunt's) were then ruthlessly destroyed.

During the Lady Jane Grey rebellion, Ridley denounced Mary and Elizabeth
as bastards. The accession of gloomy Queen Mary soon turned the tables.
As the Queen passed to her coronation, a daring Dutchman stood on the
cross of St. Paul's waving a long streamer, and shifting from foot to
foot as he shook two torches which he held over his head.

But the citizens were Protestants at heart. At the first sermon preached
at St. Paul's Cross, Dr. Bourne, a rash Essex clergyman, prayed for the
dead, praised Bonner, and denounced Ridley. The mob, inflamed to
madness, shouted, "He preaches damnation! Pull him down! pull him down!"
A dagger, thrown at the preacher, stuck quivering in a side-post of the
pulpit. With difficulty two good men dragged the rash zealot safely into
St. Paul's School. For this riot several persons were sent to the Tower,
and a priest and a barber had their ears nailed to the pillory at St.
Paul's Cross. The crosses were raised again in St. Paul's, and the old
ceremonies and superstitions revived. On St. Katherine's Day (in honour
of the queen's mother's patron saint) there was a procession with
lights, and the image of St. Katherine, round St. Paul's steeple, and
the bells rang. Yet not long after this, when a Dr. Pendleton preached
old doctrines at St. Paul's Cross, a gun was fired at him. When Bonner
was released from the Marshalsea and restored to his see, the people
shouted, "Welcome home;" and a woman ran forward and kissed him. We are
told that he knelt in prayer on the Cathedral steps.

In 1554, at the reception in St. Paul's of Cardinal Pole, King Philip
attended with English, Spanish, and German guards, and a great retinue
of nobles. Bishop Gardiner preached on the widening heresy till the
audience groaned and wept. Of the cruel persecutions of the Protestants
in this reign St. Paul's was now and then a witness, and likewise of the
preparations for the execution of Protestants, which Bonner's party
called "trials." Thus we find Master Cardmaker, vicar of St. Bride's,
and Warne, an upholsterer in Walbrook, both arraigned at St. Paul's
before the bishop for heresy, and carried back from there to Newgate, to
be shortly after burned alive in Smithfield.

In the midst of these horrors, a strange ceremony took place at St.
Paul's, more worthy, indeed, of the supposititious temple of Diana than
of a Christian cathedral, did it not remind us that Popery was always
strangely intermingled with fragments of old paganism. In June, 1557
(St. Paul's Day, says Machyn, an undertaker and chronicler of Mary's
reign), a fat buck was presented to the dean and chapter, according to
an annual grant made by Sir Walter le Baud, an Essex knight, in the
reign of Edward I. A priest from each London parish attended in his
cope, and the Bishop of London wore his mitre, while behind the burly,
bullying, persecutor Bonner came a fat buck, his head with his horns
borne upon a pole; forty huntsmen's horns blowing a rejoicing chorus.

The last event of this blood-stained reign was the celebration at St.
Paul's of the victory over the French at the battle of St. Quintin by
Philip and the Spaniards. A sermon was preached to the city at Paul's
Cross, bells were rung, and bonfires blazed in every street.

At Elizabeth's accession its new mistress soon purged St. Paul's of all
its images: copes and shaven crowns disappeared. The first ceremony of
the new reign was the performance of the obsequies of Henry II. of
France. The empty hearse was hung with cloth of gold, the choir draped
in black, the clergy appearing in plain black gowns and caps. And now,
what the Catholics called a great judgment fell on the old Cathedral.
During a great storm in 1561, St. Martin's Church, Ludgate, was struck
by lightning; immediately after, the wooden steeple of St. Paul's
started into a flame. The fire burned downwards furiously for four
hours, the bells melted, the lead poured in torrents; the roof fell in,
and the whole Cathedral became for a time a ruin. Soon after, at the
Cross, Dean Nowell rebuked the Papists for crying out "a judgment." In
papal times the church had also suffered. In Richard I.'s reign an
earthquake shook down the spire, and in Stephen's time fire had also
brought destruction. The Crown and City were roused by this misfortune.
Thrifty Elizabeth gave 1,000 marks in gold, and 1,000 marks' worth of
timber; the City gave a great benevolence, and the clergy subscribed
£1,410. In one month a false roof was erected, and by the end of the
year the aisles were leaded in. On the 1st of November, the same year,
the mayor, aldermen, and crafts, with eighty torch-bearers, went to
attend service at St. Paul's. The steeple, however, was never
re-erected, in spite of Queen Elizabeth's angry remonstrances.

In the first year of Philip and Mary, the Common Council of London
passed an act which shows the degradation into which St. Paul's had sunk
even before the fire. It forbade the carrying of beer-casks, or baskets
of bread, fish, flesh, or fruit, or leading mules or horses through the
Cathedral, under pain of fines and imprisonment. Elizabeth also issued a
proclamation to a similar effect, forbidding a fray, drawing of swords
in the church, or shooting with hand-gun or dagg within the church or
churchyard, under pain of two months' imprisonment. Neither were
agreements to be made for the payment of money within the church. Soon
after the fire, a man that had provoked a fray in the church was set in
the pillory in the churchyard, and had his ears nailed to a post, and
then cut off. These proclamations, however, led to no reform. Cheats,
gulls, assassins, and thieves thronged the middle aisle of St. Paul's;
advertisements of all kinds covered the walls, the worst class of
servants came there to be hired; worthless rascals and disreputable
flaunting women met there by appointment. Parasites, hunting for a
dinner, hung about a monument of the Beauchamps, foolishly believed to
be the tomb of the good Duke Humphrey. Shakespeare makes Falstaff hire
red-nosed Bardolph in St. Paul's, and Ben Jonson lays the third act of
his _Every Man in his Humour_ in the middle aisle. Bishop Earle, in his
"Microcosmography," describes the noise of the crowd of idlers in Paul's
"as that of bees, a strange hum mixed of walking tongues and feet, a
kind of still roar or loud whisper." He describes the crowd of young
curates, copper captains, thieves, and dinnerless adventurers and
gossip-mongers. Bishop Corbet, that jolly prelate, speaks of

                        "The walk,
    Where all our British sinners swear and talk,
    Old hardy ruffians, bankrupts, soothsayers,
    And youths whose cousenage is old as theirs."

On the eve of the election of Sandys as Bishop of London, May, 1570, all
London was roused by a papal bull against Elizabeth being found nailed
on the gates of the bishop's palace. It declared her crown forfeited and
her people absolved from their oaths of allegiance. The fanatic maniac,
Felton, was soon discovered, and hung on a gallows at the bishop's
gates.

One or two anecdotes of interest specially connect Elizabeth with St.
Paul's. On one occasion Dean Nowell placed in the queen's closet (pew) a
splendid prayer-book, full of German scriptural engravings, richly
illuminated. The zealous queen was furious; the book seemed to her of
Catholic tendencies.

"Who placed this book on my cushion? You know I have an aversion to
idolatry. The cuts resemble angels and saints--nay, even grosser
absurdities."

The frightened dean pleaded innocence of all evil intentions. The queen
prayed God to grant him more wisdom for the future, and asked him where
they came from. When told Germany, she replied, "It is well it was a
stranger. Had it been one of my subjects, we should have questioned the
matter."

Once again Dean Nowell vexed the queen--this time from being too
Puritan. On Ash Wednesday, 1572, the dean preaching before her, he
denounced certain popish superstitions in a book recently dedicated to
her majesty. He specially denounced the use of the sign of the cross.
Suddenly a harsh voice was heard in the royal closet. It was
Elizabeth's. She chidingly bade Mr. Dean return from his ungodly
digression and revert to his text. The next day the frightened dean
wrote a most abject apology to the high-spirited queen.

The victory over the Armada was, of course, not forgotten at St. Paul's.
When the thanksgiving sermon was preached at Paul's Cross, eleven
Spanish ensigns waved over the cathedral battlements, and one idolatrous
streamer with an image of the Virgin fluttered over the preacher. That
was in September; the Queen herself came in November, drawn by four
white horses, and with the privy council and all the nobility. Elizabeth
heard a sermon, and dined at the bishop's palace.

The "children of Paul's," whom Shakespeare, in _Hamlet_, mentions with
the jealousy of a rival manager, were, as Dean Milman has proved, the
chorister-boys of St. Paul's. They acted, it is supposed, in their
singing-school. The play began at four p.m., after prayers, and the
price of admission was 4d. They are known at a later period to have
acted some of Lily's Euphuistic plays, and one of Middleton's.

In this reign lotteries for Government purposes were held at the west
door of St. Paul's, where a wooden shed was erected for drawing the
prizes, which were first plate and then suits of armour. In the first
lottery (1569) there were 40,000 lots at 10s. a lot, and the profits
were applied to repairing the harbours of England.

In the reign of James I. blood was again shed before St. Paul's. Years
before a bishop had been murdered at the north door; now, before the
west entrance (in January, 1605-6), four of the desperate Gunpowder Plot
conspirators (Sir Everard Digby, Winter, Grant, and Bates) were there
hung, drawn, and quartered. Their attempt to restore the old religion by
one blow ended in the hangman's strangling rope and the executioner's
cruel knife. In the May following a man of less-proven guilt (Garnet,
the Jesuit) suffered the same fate in St. Paul's Churchyard; and zealots
of his faith affirmed that on straws saved from the scaffold miraculous
portraits of their martyr were discovered.

The ruinous state of the great cathedral, still without a tower, now
aroused the theological king. He first tried to saddle the bishop and
chapter, but Lord Southampton, Shakespeare's friend, interposed to save
them. Then the matter went to sleep for twelve years. In 1620 the king
again awoke, and came in state with all his lords on horseback, to hear
a sermon at the Cross and to view the church. A royal commission
followed, Inigo Jones, the king's _protégé_, whom James had brought from
Denmark, being one of the commissioners. The sum required was estimated
at £22,536. The king's zeal ended here; and his favourite, Buckingham,
borrowed the stone collected for St. Paul's for his Strand palace, and
from parts of it was raised that fine watergate still existing in the
Thames Embankment gardens.

When Charles I. made that narrow-minded churchman, Laud, Bishop of
London, one of Laud's first endeavours was to restore St. Paul's.
Charles I. was a man of taste, and patronised painting and architecture.
Inigo Jones was already building the Banqueting House at Whitehall. The
king was so pleased with Inigo's design for the new portico of St.
Paul's, that he proposed to pay for that himself. Laud gave £1,200. The
fines of the obnoxious and illegal High Commission Court were set apart
for the same object. The small sheds and houses round the west front
were ruthlessly cleared away. All shops in Cheapside and Lombard Street,
except goldsmiths, were to be shut up, that the eastern approach to St.
Paul's might appear more splendid. The church of St. Gregory, at the
south-west wing of the cathedral, was removed and rebuilt. Inigo Jones
cut away all the decayed stone and crumbling Gothic work of the
Cathedral, and on the west portico expended all the knowledge he had
acquired in his visit to Rome. The result was a pagan composite,
beautiful but incongruous. The front, 161 feet long and 162 feet high,
was supported by fourteen Corinthian columns. On the parapet above the
pillars Inigo proposed that there should stand ten statues of princely
benefactors of St. Paul's. At each angle of the west front there was a
tower. The portico was intended for a Paul's Walk, to drain off the
profanation from within.

[Illustration: THE CHAPTER HOUSE OF OLD ST. PAUL'S, FROM A VIEW BY
HOLLAR (_see page 243_).]

Nor were the London citizens backward. One most large-hearted man, Sir
Paul Pindar, a Turkey merchant who had been ambassador at
Constantinople, and whose house is still to be seen in Bishopsgate
Street, contributed £10,000 towards the screen and south transept. The
statues of James and Charles were set up over the portico, and the
steeple was begun, when the storm arose that soon whistled off the
king's unlucky head. The coming troubles cast shadows around St. Paul's.
In March, 1639, a paper was found in the yard of the deanery, before
Laud's house, inscribed--"Laud, look to thyself. Be assured that thy
life is sought, as thou art the fountain of all wickedness;" and in
October, 1640, the High Commission sitting at St. Paul's, nearly 2,000
Puritans made a tumult, tore down the benches in the consistory, and
shouted, "We will have no bishops and no High Commission."

The Parliament made short work with St. Paul's, of Laud's projects, and
Inigo Jones's classicalisms. They at once seized the £17,000 or so left
of the subscription. To Colonel Jephson's regiment, in arrears for pay,
£1,746, they gave the scaffolding round St. Paul's tower, and in pulling
it to pieces down came part of St. Paul's south transept. The copes in
St. Paul's were burnt (to extract the gold), and the money sent to the
persecuted Protestant poor in Ireland. The silver vessels were sold to
buy artillery for Cromwell. There was a story current that Cromwell
intended to sell St. Paul's to the Jews for a synagogue. The east end of
the church was walled in for a Puritan lecturer; the graves were
desecrated; the choir became a cavalry barracks; the portico was let out
to sempsters and hucksters, who lodged in rooms above; James and Charles
were toppled from the portico; while the pulpit and cross were
entirely destroyed. The dragoons in St. Paul's became so troublesome to
the inhabitants by their noisy brawling games and their rough
interruption of passengers, that in 1651 we find them forbidden to play
at ninepins from six a.m. to nine p.m.

[Illustration: DR. BOURNE PREACHING AT PAUL'S CROSS (_see page 243_).]

When the Restoration came, sunshine again fell upon the ruins. Wren,
that great genius, was called in. His report was not very favourable.
The pillars were giving way; the whole work had been from the beginning
ill designed and ill built; the tower was leaning. He proposed to have a
rotunda, with cupola and lantern, to give the church light, "and
incomparable more grace" than the lean shaft of a steeple could possibly
afford. He closed his report by a eulogy on the portico of Inigo Jones,
as "an absolute piece in itself." Some of the stone collected for St.
Paul's went, it is said, to build Lord Clarendon's house (site of
Albemarle Street). On August 27, 1661, good Mr. Evelyn, one of the
commissioners, describes going with Wren, the Bishop and Dean of St.
Paul's, &c., and resolving finally on a new foundation. On Sunday,
September 2, the Great Fire drew a red cancelling line over Wren's
half-drawn plans. The old cathedral passed away, like Elijah, in flames.
The fire broke out about ten o'clock on Saturday night at a bakehouse in
Pudding Lane, near East Smithfield. Sunday afternoon Pepys found all the
goods carried that morning to Cannon Street now removing to Lombard
Street. At St. Paul's Wharf he takes water, follows the king's party,
and lands at Bankside. "In corners and upon steeples, and between
churches and houses, as far as we could see up the city, a most horrid,
bloody, malicious flame, not like the flame of an ordinary fire." On the
7th, he saw St. Paul's Church with all the roof off, and the body of the
quire fallen into St. Faith's.

On Monday, the 3rd, Mr. Evelyn describes the whole north of the City on
fire, the sky light for ten miles round, and the scaffolds round St.
Paul's catching. On the 4th he saw the stones of St. Paul's flying like
grenades, the melting lead running in streams down the streets, the very
pavements too hot for the feet, and the approaches to